Landlords asked for compassion with rent rises

A property company director is telling landlords to show compassion when they consider rent rises, because of the cost of living crisis.Stuart Collar-Brown, director of the online My Auction service, says landlords must do what they can to help tenants cope with the cost of living crisis, although they need government support:

Against this backdrop of interest rate rises and the cost of living crisis squeezing families, landlords can do their bit to support tenants and help ease some of the strain” he says.

“Of course rental rate increases are necessary from time to time. After all, many ‘accidental’ landlords will be in the same situation and find there is now very little profit from their rental properties. “But any decisions around a rent increase should ideally be made with a degree of compassion for the situation a tenants find themselves in. We saw this level of support during the Covid pandemic where a large majority of landlords made the decision to freeze any rental increase, valuing a tenants loyalty over a 10 per cent price increase.”

Collar-Brown accepts that in recent years landlords have had to endure rising costs caused by stamp duty increases on second properties as well as the withdrawal of tax relief on mortgage interest.

Couple this with the same cost of living challenges facing tenants and its inevitable that at some point the rent will need to go up. The question is, by how much?” asks Collar-Brown.

He says the government needs to step up and support landlords and tenants to avoid investors exiting the market and indirectly triggering rent rises because of a stock shortage.

But he then adds: “There is a real opportunity here for landlords to play their part (if they are able) in helping to ease the financial strain that is impacting the lives of so many but they need the support of the government with fast and immediate action. Those that play the long-game and take an approach that appreciates the sensitive situation tenants are in are likely to reap the rewards.”

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