Govt urged to extend 80% salary guarentee

Spicerhaart Corporate Sales has called for the Government’s 80% salary guarantee to be extended to rental income for small private landlords.

The call from the asset management specialist followed new measures put in place to protect tenants from eviction during coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Government announced that all possessions activity would be frozen for an initial period of three months, while existing possession claims would not progress through the Courts and no new claims being entered during this period.

Spicerhaart Corporate Sales managing director, Mark Pilling, suggested eviction is “always a last resort”, and had never been more so than during the Covid-19 outbreak.

He explained: “While a blanket freeze on all possessions activity will protect tenants in the short-term, it is bound to lead to an accumulation of arrears that will be all the harder to deal with once the freeze is lifted.

“If there seem to be no consequences to non-payment, some struggling tenants will naturally prioritise other bills, and will be more likely to ignore attempts to communicate with them to manage the situation. A three-month ban on possessions activity will result in even longer spells without rental income – possibly six months or more of state-enforced void periods.

“Payment holidays on buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages will be of limited help to landlords who in many cases rely on income from a small number of properties. If one or more of these is not generating an income for an extended period, it could cause families real financial difficulty.

“Rental income is subject to income tax – to say nothing of the Stamp Duty premium paid by BTL landlords. It seems only fair that it should be subject to the same Government guarantees as other income affected by the restrictions currently in place.”

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