Covid crisis highlights value of rental guarantor services

  • Rental guarantor services address key concerns for tenants, landlords and letting agents
  • Eviction ban end to result in further pain for landlords and tenants alike
  • Using personal guarantors now seen as even riskier than previously

The pandemic has seen tenants, landlords and letting agents all suffer in different ways as a result of Covid’s economic fallout. When the eviction ban ends on 31 May, that situation is likely to get worse – and not just for those tenants who have been unable to pay their rent. Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director of UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand, explains:

The delays in the courts for landlords looking to evict non-paying tenants are likely to be unprecedented, with the backlog of evictions having built up since the government first put the ban in place. This piles even more stress onto landlords who are already having to cover mortgages on properties that aren’t providing any income. It also means letting agents going without their cut of the rent for many more months while courts process the backlog. And for tenants, there’s the additional stress of falling even further behind with their rent while waiting to be taken to court. Everybody loses.”

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

While nobody saw the pandemic coming, there are plenty of lessons to be learned about risk avoidance for future major crises. One is the value of rental guarantor services. These are services that the tenant pays for to ensure that, should they become unable to pay their rent, it will still be paid: the guarantor company steps in and pays 100% of it for them. The tenant gets to keep their home, the landlord continues to receive an income and the lettings agency continues to receive its share.

The pandemic has also highlighted the value of rental guarantor services when compared with personal guarantors. Personal guarantors who were in a position to act as such at the outset of the pandemic may now be in very different financial situations. Relying on a personal guarantor for rent payments now carries much the same risk as relying on the tenant.

There are two other options available to landlords looking to ensure that non-payment of rent doesn’t lead to non-payment of their mortgage. One is rental insurance, where the landlord simply buys a policy, then makes a claim in the event of rent not being paid. The other is a company guarantor, which is where a company agrees to act as a guarantor for one of its employees. However, both of these models are flawed, according to Housing Hand’s Group Operations Director, Terry Mason:

“Insurance companies are known for not paying out on every claim. This has the potential to leave landlords unexpectedly out of pocket. Company guarantors, meanwhile, may be in very different financial positions than they were at the start of the pandemic, so carry risks of their own.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

For tenants and landlords looking for maximum protection, rental guarantor services that are underwritten by an insurer offer the greatest peace of mind. Housing Hand, for example, is backed by Lloyds syndicate insurance. It delivers 100% pay-out and continues until the end of the tenancy.

While many landlords – and their letting agents and tenants – have missed out on the benefits of rental guarantor services during the pandemic, those looking for a reliable safety net in future have everything to gain.

 

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/