More than half of landlords lose rent due to Covid-19

More than half of of private landlords with properties in England surveyed have lost rental income as a result of Covid-19, according to the latest research by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

Some 56% of those questioned as part of the NRLA’s Q4 2020 survey had lost over half of their usual rental income as a consequence of the pandemic, with 12% having lost more than 20% of that income.

Amongst those landlords surveyed who said they have faced a loss of rent, 22% had lost more than £5,000 and 59% had lost more than £1,000. Some 36% said that the losses are continuing to increase.

Of those who had lost non-rental income, 41% have lost more than £1,000, with 20% having lost more than £5,000.

The research also reveals that a third of landlords plan to reduce their portfolios by either leaving the market entirely or selling some of their properties.

Ben Beadle

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, commented: “Although most landlords have done everything they can to help tenants affected as a result of the pandemic, we have now reached the end of what they are able to do.

“Simply continuing to ban repossessions just means that tenants struggling to pay their rent are accumulating more debt reducing the chances that they will be able to pay it off. This ultimately will put more renters at risk of losing their homes.

“Ministers need to develop a proper plan to sustain tenancies and help the rental market recover. This needs to include a financial package to enable tenants to pay off any arrears built as a direct result of the pandemic.”


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  1. paulgbar666

    The PRS is unviable especially for mortgaged LL if eviction is prevented where tenants default on rent


    It is simply pointless investing in any business if you cannot get the consumers to pay for the service you provide.


    Only those consumers who in the PRS are able to achieve RGI or guarantors are a viable business risk.


    Very few tenants are able to achieve these circumstances.

    Because of these risks the business imperative to give up tenants is overwhelming.

    Govt has made tenants a business risk too far.


    Of course there will be rich LL who can absorb mass rent defaulting.

    Few small leveraged LL are able to manage this.

    As one of them I will be one of the LL leaving the sector.


    I simply cannot afford to risk my future financial security on feckless rent defaulting tenants whom I am prevented from evicting by ridiculous Govt policies.

    I will be selling up with vacant possession making 16 occupants homeless.

    My capital will be returned to a savings account where it will remain socially useless.

    Currently it houses 16 people who are not in any position to buy.

    So ridiculous Govt policies will be responsible for making these occupants homeless completely unnecessarily.


    Reducing the scope of the PRS is the last thing tenants need.

    Many LL like me don’t need to be LL but tenants certainly need LL.

    It is completely unrealistic that existing tenants can expect to become homeowners.


    There are plenty of properties to be purchased.

    Tenants just can’t afford to buy them.

    That is no fault of LL.

    The market hasn’t been created by LL.




    1. Will2

      Your are correct of course. It is such an expensive and long term investment to provide housing. Once the idiot politicians & so called housing charities have overstepped the mark/over-milked the market and landlords sell up new investment and trust will take an enormous time to  reverse the trend. Trust in the market is at an all time low – if you can’t trust the investments you make due to government and media/suspect charity interventions then the poor old tenant is the one that looses out as Government, suspect charities and the media never put their money where their mouths are. As they say all mouth and no trousers. Most landlords are not rich or able to sustain large losses.

  2. LVW4

    Like you, I don’t need to be a LL, but I do need to cover my costs, and if a tenant decides not to pay their rent, I can’t cover my costs and will leave the PRS (which I will do this year). My tenant is currently £5000 in arrears and refusing to pay, even though he can. I’m not a charity, but have gone so far as to offer to clear his debt in full, and still he won’t leave. Shelter can help him (ha! ha!) when he’s finally evicted.

    I have always gone the extra mile for my tenants. When one lost her job at the start of the lockdown, I helped her with a plan. She’s a single mum and isn’t in arrears. But my experience with this one tenant, and the government’s behaviour towards the PRS in England has made me bitter and hardened my attitude, which I hate.


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