Housing market activity has plummeted over the past week or so and looks set for another volatile period ahead, as the implications of an escalating coronavirus outbreak spooks buyers, sellers, landlords, and renters.
As the property industry grapples with questions over the impact of the Covid-19 virus, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis has attempted to provide some guidance on how coronavirus will affect private landlords and renters. However, he opened his latest episode of the Ask Martin Lewis Podcast by explaining that “we are in an unprecedented situation”.
He went on to explain that there are many things that he simply “doesn’t have the answer to” at this moment in time, adding that his advice could well change in a matter of hours.
But he did have some advice for buy-to-let landlords and private renters, which you may find helpful.
Addressing landlords, Lewis said: “I would certainly say that for big landlords who can afford it, or who have multiple properties out there, it would be a good idea right now to work out what your policy is. How are you going to treat people? Think of the long term, not the short term.
“Allowing people to have short term payment holidays to defer their rent or even just saying ‘I’m going to drop your rent for the moment’ if it’s necessary.”
Lewis advised landlords against evicting tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.
He continued: “Look, landlords who kick people out right now – it’s not that easy to kick someone out – are going to struggle to find new tenants. “And if you’ve got a long term good tenant, we all understand the situation.
“This isn’t people who are playing hard and fast and loose with their finances. These are people who are in a struggling financial dynamic.
“I think I’m just going to have to keep using the word – it’s the word of the day – forbearance. It’s what we all need to do right now. Forbearance and a responsible attitude and no game playing on either side. But I can’t give you more than that.”