• The Power of Kindness in Letting Relationships

The Power of Kindness in Letting Relationships

12 May 2021

The news that rent arrears are mounting is making headlines, as it hits circa 840,000 tenants in England and Wales since the first lockdown. What is surprising is that so little was done to avoid this crisis when there was still time to prevent it.

The Rent Happily approach to No Rent Arrears

In April 2020, it became obvious that a huge deficit in income would build up for landlords who didn’t act on it, and we urged them to negotiate with their lenders, to talk to their tenants, and to face the crisis together. All of our portfolio landlords took our recommendations in, and we nipped the problem in the bud.

Over the last year, we’ve seen it all, from landlords losing their jobs to tenants being furloughed, landlords entering the market or leaving it, but our balance sheet is clean: there has been not a single month of rent arrears, not one late rent that was not previously agreed upon, and we have lost no tenants over the period.

The building up of rent arrears

The lack of action in the sector at the onset of the crisis has created what seems to be a societal issue. Yet it is only a private concern between tenants and landlords, and there is no mediation or breathing space that will change that: tenants owe money to landlords and that’s the end of it.

This situation is also creating an enormous backlog in courts, and landlords are facing up to a 12 months wait before possession orders are granted! This is the natural consequence of the rent arrears, and it was one further reason to avoid this in the first place.

Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor, again

This situation certainly benefits no one, as landlords will lose money and tenants will lose financial credibility. Solutions were available, rent arrears were negotiable, and this crisis was avoidable altogether, but the lack of common sense of the interested parties created a vicious situation, and either tenants will bear the brunt and suffer long-lasting consequences, or the taxpayer will foot the bill, privatising profits and socializing losses at a massive scale as is usually done in similar situations.

The reward of Kindness

The landlords who embraced the difficulties with their tenants showed empathy under circumstances where no one was to blame and they showed courage, believing a little effort would somehow help to solve a crisis they had no control over. Some landlords gave rent holidays, rent rebates or both to their tenants, and in every single case, the landlord’s gesture has been received as a gift by their tenants, who then went out of their way to honour what they perceived as generosity, kindness, and care. After this, rent payments were made on time, delayed payments were quickly honoured, and rent arrears were avoided throughout.

It has been a privilege to witness in real life the results of such acts of humanity, and we can say with confidence that it creates a win-win situation between tenants and landlords, where both enjoy the security and reassurance of a mutually beneficial relationship.

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  • I have had a tenancy with Rent Happily since 2014. The team is accessible and responsive, always in a timely and professional way. The property has been maintained to a high standard and requests for repairs are dealt with promptly. This is a perfect example of how private tenancies can work well. Thank you Rent Happily.

    Patricia R. Happy Tenant
  • Over the last three years of renting through Rent Happily, my rental experience has been a very positive one. Always very quick to respond whenever needed. Thank you!

    Charlotte B. Happy Tenant
  • The team at Rent Happily is a pleasure to work with, they are easy to get hold of if need be and prompt to resolve problems. Thank you.

    Wayne A. Happy Tenant
  • I have been renting with this agency for more than 5 years and never had a problem with them. Very good service and very kind and helpful when we need to sort something out. Highly recommended.

    Mario S. Happy Tenant
  • After nearly three happy years renting this house, I now have to leave. I'm so thankful for this time living at the house; absolutely everything has been positive about this experience. Thanks a lot for everything!

    Damaris M. Happy Tenant
  • We have been extremely impressed with the service offered by Rent Happily; they're very prompt and professional when dealing with us or with the tenants and ensuring that we are adhering to regulations. I really wanted to emphasise how great you guys are without going OTT. Surely the best letting agency in bristol!

    Angela and Leroy G. Happy Landlords