Agency group wants loans scheme for tenants with Covid arrears

Belvoir is backing a call for a loans scheme in England – similar to one in Wales – to protect tenants with arrears run up during the Coronavirus crisis.

“With confirmation that the UK has officially fallen into recession we believe it is more important than ever for the government to introduce a loan scheme similar to that in Wales, which will ensure all tenants are able to pay their rent, and landlords can continue providing much needed housing for the private rental sector” explains Belvoir chief executive Dorian Gonsalves.

“Although the rental sector remained robust throughout lockdown, the furlough scheme is due to end in October and there is inevitably some uncertainty about how this will impact on the job market and the ability of a small percentage of tenants to pay their rent” he continues.

“A loan system of the type operating in Wales will help to protect tenants by ensuring they can continue to pay rent and reduce the risk of evictions. In the long term a loan system to subsidise the rental market and protect tenants may ultimately be less costly for the government than a potential increase in homelessness, especially as councils will struggle to rehome people due to a shortage in social housing.”

Under the Welsh Tenancy Saver Loans scheme, which kicks off next month, the loan payment will be made directly to the agent or landlord.

The tenant will have to apply for the loan: they will then be given up to five years to pay back the money at an interest rate of one per cent APR.

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