Landlords need breathing space

The article, written by John Fitzsimons, says:

"We need a strong rental sector…our blasé attitude towards the plight of landlords is not a good thing. Too often we overlook the fact that a strong rental sector is essential. Home-ownership is not a right, nor is it right for everyone. And while the social rental sector does a good job, I think it is vitally important to have an equally strong private rented sector, to help take the pressure off the state."

"I like the idea of a buy-to-let version of the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme. Under the current scheme, mortgage owners are able to defer interest payments on their mortgages for up to two years. Why not extend this to buy-to-let landlords?…Landlords on the whole do a great and invaluable job, and our property market needs them – there are currently more than one million buy-to-let mortgages in place. That’s a lot of landlords at the mercy of circumstances beyond their control."

David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, speaking about the article, said:

"This recession has already claimed a growing but small number of landlords who have faced severe financial difficulty. The bigger picture is of a rental sector which is growing and making an ever-more important contribution to the overall housing mix. The UK needs a strong rental sector and this article makes a clear case for offering landlords sufficient space to try and deal with their financial problems. By moving quickly to repossess properties owned by buy-to-let borrowers, the problems of pressure on social housing and increased homelessness will not go away.

"NLA research published in March 2009 indicated that in the previous six months around 44 per cent of landlords had experienced some form of rental arrears. Although during economic turbulence many people struggle financially, this level of non-payment of rent can have direct and severe consequences for both landlords and their tenants."

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