Despite housing campaigners welcoming the research, it also reveals a widespread belief that tenants should have to pay back any deferred rent.

Most people who back tenants being given a rent holiday believe landlords should get repaid after the crisis ends, a new survey has discovered.

The survey of more than 1,000 people by Survation found that 81% think tenants should be able to suspend rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

But 69% of those who supported a suspension felt that the money should be paid back after lockdown, compared with 24% who opposed repayment.

The National Residential Landlords Association has welcomed the findings, which it says show a clear majority of the public understands that a rent deferral needs to be paid back.

Blanket suspension

Policy director Chris Norris says: “Our research shows that in most cases landlords are responding positively where tenants have sought assistance to deal with rent payment problems.

“However, a blanket rent suspension would lead to the absurd situation where those whose incomes have not been affected by the pandemic, such as Members of Parliament, are allowed to live rent free.” 

Along with pressure groups including Generation Rent and London Renters’ Union, Labour organisations Momentum and Open Labour have urged the party to back rent holidays, without the need to pay back arrears.

They want the Labour Party to pressure the Government to cancel payments of rent, for anyone experiencing any drop in income.

Earlier this month, more than 4,000 Labour members signed an open letter calling on Labour leader Keir Starmer to “cancel the rent”. He has advocated rent deferrals, which would mean renters making additional rent payments to cover arrears built up during the crisis.

Read more about rent holidays.

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