The buy-to-let broker also asked lenders to be “understanding” with landlords who may face loan repayment problems due to tenants defaulting on rent because of the novel coronavirus.
According to the firm, landlord clients are already seeing tenants struggle to keep up with rent payments and for those with holiday let mortgages, a “significant drop” in holiday bookings has been reported.
Property Master chief executive Angus Stewart (pictured) said: “There are reports of tenants whose working hours have been reduced or who work for overseas companies that do not appear to be currently trading.
“In addition, given current medical advice to stay at home if you are exhibiting possible coronavirus symptoms, we would expect more tenants to find themselves in difficult financial circumstances.”
“There is clearly going to be a knock-on effect in terms of landlords facing difficulties meeting mortgage repayments if their tenants are not able to pay rents,” he added.
Property Master also shared the guidance it was giving to its landlord clients to support them during this time. This included:
- Keep communication channels open with your tenants and/or letting agency. You want to know at the earliest possible time if a tenant is likely to be facing rent difficulties.
- Make contact as soon as possible with your lender if it does look as if you will struggle to meet a mortgage repayment. Be prepared to discuss the various options.
- Look now at your mortgage costs. Fixed rate buy-to-let mortgages are currently at record lows so it may be worth refinancing to put yourself in a better position to withstand any shocks.
Landlord bodies want action
The Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association have also called for a package of measures from government and mortgage lenders to support tenants and landlords.
This included urging landlords to work positively with tenants to provide support and to be as flexible as possible.
“To support landlords in this we are calling for a package of measures from government and mortgage providers,” a statement from the trade bodies said.
“This includes a temporary scrapping of the five week wait before Universal Credit claimants get their first payment, pausing the final phase of restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and ensuring lenders look sympathetically on requests by landlords for mortgage payment holidays where their income is being affected through reduced or non-payment of rent.”