Covid-19 mortgage repayment holiday extended to buy-to-let and Help to Buy
Last night, the Government confirmed that its three-month mortgage repayment holiday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.
After confirming the repayment break for residential mortgages, the holiday has now been confirmed on all buy-to-let mortgages, as well as on Help to Buy equity loans.
The Government said the step on buy-to-let mortgages ensures “parity of support”, further to Tuesday’s announcement that the government made for private mortgage holders.
In a statement, the Government said this will “alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result”.
At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.
As part of the new package of measures, the government has also introduced emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.
Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.
“These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.
“These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”
In a joint statement, the Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association said: “Our priority is to ensure that tenants are secure in their homes during this crisis. The three month buy to let mortgage payment holiday will take a lot of pressure off landlords enabling them to be as flexible as possible with tenants facing difficulties with their rent payments.
“No responsible landlord will be considering evicting tenants because of difficulties arising from the current situation. There does need to be some flexibility though such as with dealing with a tenant engaging in anti-social behaviour. This could cause misery for fellow tenants or neighbours especially when they are going to be spending a lot of time together.
“We would like to see further measures taken including pausing the final phase of restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax due in April.
“In addition we need to do all we can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. There should be national guidelines for local authorities to suspend routine inspections of properties and a temporary halt on enforcement action where landlords are unable to fulfil certain required obligations because of the health risk posed to them, tenants and contractors.”
Source: Financial Reporter