MPs calling for relief package to help tenants with post-pandemic rent arrears

MPs calling for relief package to help tenants with post-pandemic rent arrears

9:28 AM, 27th July 2021, About 2 months ago 2

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The number of tenants in arrears has tripled over the last year, leaving MPs and National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) once again calling for a grant or loan system for renters in England, so they can get on top of “a tsunami of debt”.  Many renters are already struggling to pay off arrears they have accumulated through no fault of their own and that is before the furlough scheme draws to a close in autumn.

By the end of 2020, there were 820,000 private tenants in arrears in England, according to NRLA, averaging £900 per household. A total of 80% were not in debt before the pandemic began.

Conservative MP Nigel Mills, a member of the Work and Pensions Committee, has proposed tenants, landlords and the taxpayer “share the pain,” with each party splitting the arrears three ways, creating a “clear incentive from all sides.”

England is being viewed as the poor relation when it comes to support for the private rented sector.  In Wales, a new £10m scheme to help renters with Covid-related arrears has been launched.

Called the Tenancy Hardship Grant, and introduced by the Welsh Government, it replaces the former Tenancy Saver Loan scheme. Welsh renters who built up more than two months of arrears between March 2020 and the end of June this year can claim a Tenancy Hardship Grant, but they cannot be in receipt of housing benefit or housing cost payments through Universal Credit.

In Scotland, tenants with coronavirus-related rent arrears can apply for a Tenant Hardship Loan Fund to avoid eviction, covering up nine months’ of debt.

Surveying 2,077 private tenants, the NRLA found 7% of tenants had built up arrears as a direct result of Covid. Some 18% of those in arrears had rent debts of more than £1,000. The research also showed 11 per cent of private renters – between November and December 2020 – were unemployed.

As an example of the scale of the problem, Brighton & Hove City Council’s Advice Centre has been receiving well over 20 calls a day from people saying they might lose their home.

At Caridon Landlord Solutions, we are working with landlords and tenants to reach agreements that work for both parties. If you need advice on rest arrears, eviction, Universal Credit and ways to maintain your tenancy, please contact Caridon Landlord Solutions.

Contact Sherrelle for offline Universal Credit advice

Sherrelle is an independent consultant and is recommended by Property118 for landlords who require professional advice and assistance in regards to dealing with Universal credit related matters


Comments

by Paul Essex

17:24 PM, 27th July 2021, About 2 months ago

Splitting the pain three ways! So the tenant only pays off 33 %, sounds like a win to me. The tax payer gives another 33%, and the landlord has to put up with a 33% loss. This assumes that the tenant would a) be able to take out the loan and b) actually hand it over to the landlord.

I bet this would also come with 'no eviction' strings attached, so potentially still stuck with a non paying tenant - who now has loan repayments to make as well.

Perhaps the MP in question will share the pain by paying the difference?

by Tetley

14:01 PM, 28th July 2021, About 2 months ago

As soon as one of my tenants realised I had to give 6 months notice he stopped paying rent. I'm sure he will gladly take the government assistance to pay off his arrears and pocket that too.


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