Attendees at last weeks HMO Governance Board hosted by Portsmouth City Council have been asked to share an open letter with local landlords and agents asking them to reduce student rents as has been done in student halls.
Read on for details of their request, our response and some useful statistics collated by the NRLA
You can see the open letter here: https://pdpla.com/useful-documents-list/312-upsu-and-uop-rent-relief-student-accommodation
The thrust of the letter leaving out all the verbiage is:
- Students are being disproportionately affected by lockdown through having to pay rent for properties they cannot even travel to, live in and still pay for, through no fault of their own
- we are writing to ask you to support students and join the University, Unite, Collegiate and The Student Housing Company to offer fair rent relief to students.
We were saddened to see your open letter to private landlords and its assumption that we, as a community, have done nothing yet to help our tenants during the pandemic.
Considering that unlike most businesses and universities, landlords have had no help at all from the government and, as many local landlords are dependent on the income from their properties, we continue to be pleasantly surprised at the lengths some of our members have gone to in the aid of their tenants.
Having said that, when a tenant loses their job or has their business shutdown and is facing bankruptcy, it is no surprise that local landlords go the extra mile and reduce rents, allow contracts to be ended prematurely or come to other arrangements to help their otherwise homeless tenants.
Some facts for you to consider:
So, our guidance to our members remains unchanged: "if you have tenants who are struggling due to the pandemic, please do whatever you can to help them through this difficult period. It is always better to keep a good tenant and give them time to pay off arrears than it is to evict them and incur the costs of replacing them." We do not advocate blanket reductions, but have found that in cases where reductions have been made, most are significant rather than the token gestures we are seeing with student halls at present.
With all of this in mind, please can I ask you to recognise the important role of local landlords and avoid actions which demonise us as a community.
We used facts and figures from the following NRLA produced resources:
National Lockdown Impact:https://pdpla.com/useful-documents-list/313-national-lockdown-impact-on-rented-housing
Rent Arrears Statistics: https://pdpla.com/useful-documents-list/314-rent-arrears-dynata-research
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.