19 March 2020

Tenants and landlords must "keep talking" - Royal London comments on protection for renters

4 min read

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Becky O'Connor

Personal Finance Specialist



-          1 in 5 UK homes privately rented

-          Half of all babies now born into rented homes (private and social)

-          35% of private renters are aged 25 to 34 (ONS)

-          Tenants are the most “in work” group (74%) therefore more likely to be impacted by income shocks than homeowners (61%) or social renters (43%) (ONS)

-          1.8 million families with kids renting privately

-          Average rent 25 per cent higher than mortgage repayments (£844 v £678 a month)

-          Private renters pay 45 per cent of income in rent v 18 per cent for households with a mortgage*

On the announcement that tenants are protected from eviction for three months and landlords with buy to let mortgages can receive three-month payment holidays;

Becky O’Connor, personal finance specialist at Royal London, said:

“Yesterday’s announcement removes some worry for vulnerable renters that they could lose their home.

“It means tenants should no longer feel dependent on the compassion – or the ability of their landlords to take a prolonged hit on rental income.

“With so many millions of people, including families with children and older people, in private rented accommodation, this attitude of leniency and compassion must continue.

“Landlords too will benefit from this clear support.

“Further guidance for those who may be affected for longer than three months would be welcome.

“The key to all of this working will be that the lines of communication between tenants, landlords and letting agents are open and there’s a desire to work things out together.”

New measures to protect tenants

-          Protection from eviction if tenants are struggling to pay their rent for a three month-period

New measures to support landlords

-          Three-month payment holidays on buy to let loans, to assist landlords who cannot meet the mortgage payments on properties where the tenant is unable to pay due to coronavirus

Action plan for tenants

-          Keep talking to your landlord or letting agent and let them know if you anticipate or are already experiencing a drop in income that means you might not be able to pay your rent

-          Try to agree a compromise rent payment arrangement for a time period, that can be reviewed periodically

-          Keep whatever evidence you can to demonstrate a lack of work or income

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £130 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,046 employees. Figures quoted are as at June 2019.

At Royal London, we’re proud to champion the value of impartial advice. We believe it plays a crucial role in connecting people with the products that are right for them – and is key to delivering better outcomes and experiences for our customers. At the same time, it helps to build trust in our products and services.

Royal London works alongside advisers not in competition with them. That’s why we’ve made some key commitments to the intermediary market. You’ll find more detail on our commitment to advisers at http://adviser.royallondon.com/campaigns/our-commitments/

For further information please contact:

Lucy Field, Press Officer

Notes to Editors

ONS data https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/ukprivaterentedsector/2018 

*Information taken from the Parent Rent Trap policy paper, which Royal London published in 2019 to highlight that renters are no longer just young professionals, but families https://www.royallondon.com/siteassets/site-docs/media-centre/policy-papers/the-parent-rent-trap-policy-paper---royal-london.pdf