Further to the Chancellor’s announcement regarding the mortgage industry’s support for homeowners who are experiencing financial issues due to COVID-19, lenders representing banks, building societies and other specialist lenders have come together to announce additional support for homeowners and residential landlords.
In a joint announcement UK Finance and the Building Society Association (BSA) said that extending the option of a payment holiday of up to three months to residential buy-to-let landlords who have tenants who are experiencing issues with their finances, as either a direct or indirect result of Coronavirus, as well a three month moratorium on residential and buy-to-let possession action to start from 19 March 2020 helping provide customers with reassurance that they will not have their homes repossessed at this difficult time.
Commenting on the package of measures, Stephen Jones, UK Finance CEO, said “Monthly mortgage payments tend to be the largest outgoing for the vast majority of households and lenders want to reassure both homeowners and landlords who have tenants who may be affected financially that the industry is working hard to put measures in place to support them during these uncertain times.”
“In addition to the industry’s support for residential homeowners, mortgage lenders are extending the same support to buy-to-let landlords who have tenants experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19 and the options include a payment holiday of up to three months.”
“For those customers already experiencing financial difficulty, lenders have also agreed a three-month moratorium on residential and buy-to-let possession action. The industry wants to reassure customers that they will not have their homes repossessed at this difficult time and therefore, these measures will start from tomorrow (19 March 2020).
“All customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them.”
Robin Fieth, Chief Executive of the Building Societies Association (BSA) said “Building societies are acutely aware that this is a worrying time for those with a mortgage or who pay rent as both typically account for a significant proportion of household expenditure.”
“Now is a time for lenders to be flexible. The steps being taken by the industry today will offer some breathing space for those affected by the Covid-19 situation whether directly or indirectly.”
Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?, said “The FCA is right to give its support to mortgage borrowers – by calling for a stop to repossessions or extra charges on payment holidays – while many are going through a difficult time amid the coronavirus outbreak.”
“Mortgage lenders must move swiftly to ensure those in need of assistance get clear information about how these schemes will work in practice – and that the process for doing so is straightforward, ensuring consumers can easily access the support they need in the challenging months ahead.”