An NRLA campaign to help beleaguered tenants and landlords in Wales has been successful. Tenants who have fallen into rent arrears because of the pandemic can now apply for loans, which will be paid directly to their landlord.
Extra Help for Landlords and Tenants
The news has been welcomed by the NRLA, which has been campaigning for extra help for tenants and landlords.
“We are delighted the Welsh Government has listened to what we had to say and consequently adopted our proposals for a tenant loan scheme.”
The NRLA is advising landlords with tenants who have fallen into arrears with their rent to ensure they know about the scheme and how to apply for help.
“These loans will help keep tenants who have been affected by coronavirus in their homes, while supporting landlords reliant on rental income to pay their own bills.”
Tenancy Saver Loans
The Tenancy Saver Loans scheme has been introduced to help the tenants whose income has been affected by Covid-19, many of whom are not eligible for benefits. The scheme will start in September. Tenants will be able to borrow as much as they need to pay off their rent arrears, but with two conditions:
- The repayments must be affordable
- The money can only be used to pay off rent arrears accrued since the beginning of March – it can’t be used to settle historic debt
The tenant will have five years to repay the loan.
Once a tenant has successfully applied for the loan and the money has been paid directly to the landlord, the landlord will no longer have grounds to evict the tenant for serious rent arrears.
If the tenant subsequently defaults on the loan, it won’t affect the landlord.
Ban on Evictions to End Soon
Right now, there is a ban on evictions in the private sector, so if a tenant has fallen into arrears, landlords can’t serve a Section 21 or Section 8 notice. As of 24 August, the courts will once again start to deal with evictions, but there are likely to be significant delays due to a huge backlog of cases. Landlords might be better off encouraging their tenants to apply for loans to help clear the debt.
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