Letting agents, landlords and a major lender have joined forces to call on the government to introduce interest-free, government-guaranteed rent arrears loans for tenants, similar to the schemes launched in Wales and Scotland this year.
The call has come in a letter signed by the leading organisations within the housing market including ARLA Propertymark, the National Residential Landlords Association and Nationwide Building Society, as well as key debt campaigners including Citizen’s Advice and the Big Issue magazine.
They all say that unless the government acts, hundreds of thousands of people who rent their homes face an uncertain future due to the economic impact of coronavirus.
“Many are worried about the risk of losing their homes because of rent arrears arising through no fault of their own,” they say.
“While many private landlords and letting agents have done what they can to support affected tenants, the overwhelming majority of landlords are individuals – many renting out just one property, often as a pension – and are unable to continue to subsidise struggling tenants indefinitely.
“As the financial fallout continues, we need to sustain tenancies wherever possible.
“The best way to ensure this happens is to make sure that tenants are able to pay their rent, which is why the UK Government must now come forward with a package to provide financial support to reduce these arrears.”
The letter was also signed by Joanna Elson OBE, Chief Executive, Money Advice Trust and Phil Andrew, Chief Executive, StepChange.