We hope you and your family are staying safe during this uncertain time. We acknowledge it is a challenging time for both Landlords and Londoners living in the private rented sector.
The good news is that the Mayor is working to ensure renters get the support they need from the Government to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
There have also been discussions of giving vulnerable tenants grants to help them clear their arrears and pay their rent to their landlords.
The Government emphasised that if a tenant or renter is having difficulty paying the rent, landlords should help them by setting up an affordable repayment plan.
This article gives ideas for landlords tackling this uncertain time, especially as the threat of a potential second wave of coronavirus is imminent.
Financial Help for Landlords (extended):
As part of the Government’s response to the coronavirus emergency, banks and lenders agreed to allow landlords with buy-to-let mortgages to apply for a three-month mortgage holiday. This was due to end on the 31st of October.
Britain’s financial watchdog, Financial Conduct Authority, recommended that banks continue to offer mortgage holidays to landlords struggling to pay their mortgages due to the COVID-19 pandemic beyond the deadline.
UK Finance confirms that banks and building societies have agreed with HM Treasury to extend the mortgage deferrals up to six months.
If your tenant is unable to pay rent because they have been affected by the coronavirus, then we recommend that you contact your lender to discuss your options and see if an extended mortgage holiday is applicable to your situation.
Although you may have rental insurance, please note that they may not necessarily cover you if your tenant cannot pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic.
You will need to read the small print; however, we recommend that you contact your insurance provider directly to find out more.
Contact Your Lender:
The Bank of England has kept interest rates low at 0.1%, which is the lowest interest rate ever in the Bank’s 325-year history.
However, there is talk that the UK interest rate could fall below zero in a bid to support the economy with lower borrowing costs.
Talk to your lender to find out what the best interest rate you can get for your mortgage.
Remortgage to a Better Rate:
Another option to help you during this uncertain period is to consider remortgaging with another lender to get a better interest rate.
You can generally secure a new mortgage six months before the end of your current fixed term.
If any of your properties are due for renewal soon, now is the time to investigate new lenders.
Hold on to Your Best Tenants
Ensuring you have good quality tenants who look after your property is essential to keep your investment in good condition and to reduce void periods.
One way to do this is to look after your good tenants by:
- being proactive with essential repairs and maintenance
- at the annual renewal time, carefully consider if you will increase the rent and by how much
- if a tenant is self-isolating due to coronavirus, it is good practice to document this and any attempts made to gain access to the property
Consider Local Housing Lettings
If you have had challenges renting your property, then you may consider Local Housing lettings. Of course, you will want to ensure that your property is looked after with quality tenants, which is what we do as part of the REKA Home Finder Scheme.
Our REKA Home Finder Scheme gives landlords the opportunity to rent their properties immediately through local authorities in London and receive London housing rates. In some cases, landlords will receive a top-up on the housing rate.
In addition, we provide a cash incentive up to £1,000, with a two-year tenancy agreement with fully vetted quality tenants.
What’s more, the rent can be guaranteed in some cases, so there is no cash flow loss if there is a vacancy.
To find out more, visit our website page, www.rekaproperty.co.uk/home-finder-scheme.
Find the Right Letting Agent
If you have been dealing with the property management issues, maintenance tasks and sourcing quality tenants yourself, then you may want to consider appointing a letting agent or property manager to do this on your behalf.
If you decide to find an agent, make sure you find someone reputable that you can talk to. You want to build a strong working relationship with them and make sure they can help look after your tenants and your investment.
Find out what their property management service includes and excludes, so you know what your time and cost commitment will need to be.
At REKA Property Management, we offer our clients a comprehensive property management service.
If you want to know how to achieve solid rental returns and have peace of mind with your property, then call us on +44 (0) 203 286 6468 or email us at Admin@RekaProperty.co.uk