The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has been campaigning for months for support to help cover rent arrears that were accrued throughout the 18 months (or so) of the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaigning appears to have paid off, as a £65 million fund has been announced.
Tenants on the lowest incomes who are in rent arrears will benefit first, but so will their landlords, as the payments are expected to be made directly to the landlords themselves.
This is exactly what the NRLA have been calling for, but they are now urging local authorities to use the cash wisely, and to help out the tenants who are struggling the most.
It won’t be an easy task, as there are so many people who have fallen behind with their rent as a direct result of the pandemic and all of its economical implications.
Whether or not the amount of £65 million will prove to be enough isn’t really up for debate, as quite frankly, it won’t be...
The most up to date NRLA analysis suggests that the total figure of coronavirus rent debts amounts to over £300 million.
The 65 is a start, but it’s just a start.
As many as seven per cent of private tenants in England were in arrears as of April and May this year, at least according to Government data, but the reality on the ground is likely much more serious.
This is about keeping people in their homes as much as it is about getting landlords their money back, and the sticking plaster of £65 million “does not fully reflect the scale of the problem” according to NRLA Chief Ben Beadle.
Quite simply...”the Chancellor must go further...”
The £65 million will be available through the coming winter months, with at risk households (at risk of homelessness and/ or eviction) able to apply via their council for support.
Decisions will the be made on a case by case basis.
The devil in the detail is that the money should be going straight to the landlord with this fund.
Landlords are being encouraged to let tenants know about the fund, and to point them in the right direction of who to reach out to, should they need advice and support.
At #TeamCES, we’ve seen first hand how landlords have gone above and beyond to keep tenants in their homes throughout this uniquely difficult period.
Hopefully, funds like this are the start of some much-needed better news.
The NRLA will keep campaigning on their behalf, and we’ll be there with our services whenever our clients need us too.