Pandemic: I feel that landlords have no access to help
Elena owns a property in London and has been a landlord for a few years now. She never had any issues with her tenants not paying rent prior to the pandemic.
Once Covid-19 started to impact daily life in March 2020, Elena’s tenants stopped paying rent suddenly. She tried to engage with her tenants and discuss options around lowering rent and repayment holidays, but her tenants refused to communicate with her. This then became a bigger cause of concern for Elena as she lost her job in April 2020.
Elena was struggling financially and decided to served a section 8 notice after continuing to receive no rent and no communication from her tenants. Her notice expired so she applied to court for possession as she couldn't continue to cover all of her costs.
Due to the fact that Elena had been out of work for so long, she used her own savings and borrowed money from her family in order to survive. The rent that her tenants were due to pay throughout their contract, would have been her source of income during the time she was unemployed.
Elena looked into her options to see what help was available for landlords but everywhere she turned she found no help. She was told she was exempt from receiving Universal Credit because she owns her buy to let flat and no other financial help was available.
Luckily for Elena she found a new job, but after being unemployed for seven months and with her financial situation not resolved, this is an ongoing struggle for her. Furthermore, the eviction ban has intensified the debt she now faces because of the amount of arrears owed by her tenants who continue to live at the property.
Elena argues that more help is needed to support landlords throughout this difficult time. She said, “I’m really struggling financially to make ends meet, and there is no end in sight for this being resolved because I can’t gain possession of my property."
Elena is one of our members who has shared her story outlining the negative impact the pandemic has had. You can read more about her media interviews here.
The NRLA is calling for the government to tackle the rent debt crisis. You can find our recent press release about this here.