10:22 AM, 9th October 2020, About A year ago 4
The NRLA’s submission to the government is calling for a package of financial support for landlords and tenants to assist with Covid-19 related rent arrears ahead of the publication of its Comprehensive Spending Review.
Unlike the recent announcement by the Welsh government introducing a tenant loan scheme paid directly to landlords or agents there has been no financial support offered in England for rent arrears other than a ban on tenant eviction.
The NRLA would like to see the English government introduce a package of support to include:
Interest-free government guaranteed loans for tenants paid directly to landlords covering all arrears accumulated since the start of the pandemic and income support for landlords to cover arrears where affected tenants either refuse to apply for a loan or where loans are not best suited to them.
Welfare system reforms suspending the Shared Accommodation Rate for 12 months to sustain tenancies and allow house moves where needed, Local Housing Allowance remain at the 30th percentile and UC paid monthly in advance rather than in arrears.
Meera Chindooroy, deputy director for policy and campaigns said: “Landlords are not property tycoons and the vast majority have just one or two properties which they often rely on for at least part of their income or pension. All of our research shows that in the vast majority of cases where tenants have struggled financially due to Covid-19 landlords have done everything they can to sustain the tenancies.
“However our latest figures show landlords have lost up to £437m already as a result of Covid-19 and have been unable to access any of the financial support available to other businesses. Landlords cannot shoulder these levels of rent arrears indefinitely, nor should they be expected to.
“It is time the Government stepped up to support to the hard-working landlords out there providing the homes to let that this country so desperately needs.”
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