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Covid scheme launches that pays rent arrears cash direct to letting agents

Welsh tenants who have fallen behind in rent can now apply for funds if their circumstances have changed since 1st March, it has been revealed.

Nigel Lewis

senedd

The Welsh government has opened its loans programme for tenants requiring help to pay off rent arrears or expecting problems with rent payments in the future.

Called the Tenancy Saver Loan scheme, it is now open to qualifying private sector renters and can be repaid over a five year period at 1% APR.

Once the funds are approved and released, they are then paid direct to either lettings agents or landlords directly. The scheme will last for six months.

When a tenant is directed to the online application page, they must prove it has been a ‘change of circumstances’ since March 1st that has led to rent arrears including being furloughed, transferred to a zero-hours contract or made redundant.

The scheme is to be operated through the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and the loans provided by seven credit unions across Wales.

Rent flowing

Timothy Douglas (left), Policy and Campaigns Manager, ARLA Propertymark, says: “The launch of this scheme is good news for the sector and will help sustain tenancies and keep the rent flowing across Wales.

“Throughout the pandemic, ARLA Propertymark has highlighted issues affecting letting agents and campaigned for additional support, so it is really positive that the Welsh Government has listened and taken action. “Agents in Wales should continue to work closely with landlords and tenants and raise awareness of the scheme to ensure that tenants who need help during this challenging time, receive it.”

Ann Francis of Wales’ largest credit union Cambrian, says: “We would stress that this is a loan scheme of last resort and not a grant, so it may be that not every applicant will receive a loan.

“But credit unions will be making referrals to appropriate bodies to ensure that private tenants are signposted to the help they need.”

Read more about rent arrears.

October 8, 2020

One comment

  1. Well done the Welsh government for stepping up and addressing the issue. Whilst I know the numbers are substantially smaller in Wales it is now time for Boris to do the same for England. This one measure that will show if the Conservatives are serious about supporting both tenants and landlords.

    The current system of putting all the problems onto landlords is untenable. Most landlords are themselves being thrown into financial distress by the stress of supporting non-paying tenants. The debacle that is the tenant eviction ban combined with a courts system that was already creaking at the seams means many landlords will get no rent for 12 months, probably much longer as the court system simply cannot cope with the numbers.

    This cannot continue, as the Welsh government has already acknowledged.

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