The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling on the government to provide interest-free loans to private tenants, who will face a âcliff edgeâ at the end of the leave program.
Support for leave
The diet, which ends on 1st October coincides with the removal of a Â£ 20 per week increase in universal credit.
The proportion of private tenants in arrears has tripled from 3% to 9% and there are fears that more tenants, and therefore landlords, will be left without support next month.
1.6 million people are participating in the coronavirus job retention program, or are still on leave, according to HMRC data.
The association called on the Chancellor to provide hardship interest-free loans to support tenants who will lose income after the holiday program ends.
Similar programs have already been put in place in Scotland and Wales.
NRLA Managing Director Ben Beadle says:
âMany tenants and landlords struggled to cope during the pandemic, leaving them exposed to the impact of rent debts that they will likely never pay off.
âBy ending holidays and reducing benefits quickly, and without the introduction of a targeted package to tackle the rent debt linked to Covid, the government is worsening an already critical situation.
“Without transitional support, and as the country returns to normal, the Chancellor will turn his back on tenants and landlords who desperately need help.”
Rent arrears in the rest of the UK
In other research published by the NRLA rent arrears appear to be a much worse problem for Welsh landlords.
The BVA / BDRC results are based on extensive surveys of English and Welsh landlords and show that a significant number of Welsh landlords have experienced rent arrears compared to their English counterparts.
42% of people owning property in Wales said they had been affected by problems with rent arrears in the past 12 months, compared to just 35% in England.
Chris Norris, NRLA Policy Director commented:
âIt is disturbing that rent arrears appear to be a bigger problem for households in Wales, despite the recent announcement of the Tenancy Hardship Grant.
âThese figures show that the program needs to be implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible to prevent the rental debt crisis in Wales from worsening and threatening homes.
“We urge private landlords in Wales to inform their tenants about the grant and call on the Welsh government to inform all stakeholders in the private rental sector that this financial aid measure is now available.”