Landlord and Tenant Relationships During Coronavirus

The dynamic between landlords and tenants has always been one of intrigue. It’s a relationship often painted in many different lights, which is to say that, mostly, people are complicated. Most landlord and tenant relationships are strong and include plenty of communication. 

A few are slightly more strained. This can often be down to an intermediary accidentally muddling the lines of communication. For all relationships to thrive, however, respect is needed from both parties. In the overwhelming majority of landlord-tenant relationships, respect goes without saying. 

And yet, the stereotype persists: landlords and tenants supposedly don’t get on. Or, at least, they didn’t until a global pandemic brings everyone together. Using coronavirus as the reason why landlords and tenants are joining arms in some harmonious dance might be a stretch too far. But it has added another layer of intrigue to the dynamic. 
woman working at home in home office

An unknown climate

Everything changed overnight. The outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown of the UK left loads of people out of work and unable to pay their monthly outgoings. For a portion of the 20% of households who rent from a private landlord, keeping up with rental payments became a struggle.

Even with the government announcing plans to protect landlords and tenants, plenty were still left worrying about their living circumstances. An element of landlords have also found themselves in a predicament.  

The picture painted of landlords often conjures up imagery of a fat-cat property owner making so much money [that] they don’t know what to do with it. The reality is often very different, however. There are various types of landlords, from those who own a single property to ones with large portfolios. 

Everyone’s circumstances are different, but government advice hasn’t been particularly well received from both parties. As much as 62% of tenants don’t understand the new measures introduced. In layman’s terms, landlords can’t evict tenants for three months. And tenants are still liable for any rent incurred

It’s good to talk

A lack of understanding has left many landlords and tenants increasing communication to try and solve the problem. Communication between landlords and tenants was always key. But now, more than ever, it’s vital for smoothing over any situations that could turn sour. 

Landlords have mostly been understanding of their tenants’ circumstances and have appreciated the transparency. Tenants have been able to negotiate deals with many landlords, either in the form of reduced rent or a deferral scheme to pay any unpaid rent at a later date. 

Of course, not every story will have a happy ending, and some relationships between landlords and tenants may sour as a result of unpaid rent. But the current climate is showing that, for most cases, both parties are finding solutions together. 

That might come as a surprise to people who only hear about the negative tenant and landlord relationships. But for most, it will be reaffirmation that landlords and tenants act professionally to find smart conclusions. 

Coronavirus didn’t create that dynamic. But it has brought it out into public light. Perhaps now how landlord and tenant relationships are viewed might change for the better. For good.

illustration of people communicating using different devices

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