Government must clear tenant debts before second wave hits

A rent guarantor service says the rental sector has investors and landlords who are happy for tenants to defer rent payments but cannot countenance having nothing at all – and so government action to clear debt is absolutely essential.

That’s the view of Housing Hand which says the situation is worsening thanks to the dilemma of students moving into locations only to be locked down as a precaution against Coronavirus.

The company says that if the students are obliged to move out, some want a ‘no stay, no pay’ policy – although they are still legally obliged to pay their landlords under their AST agreements.

“Again, it is private landlords who are left to deal with the financial and legal fallout of such situations if the student decides not to pay” explains Housing Hand, which claims this adds to the need for a government solution to the tenant debt issue.

“The private rental sector is vital to the UK’s housing make-up. If tenants genuinely cannot pay their rent, the government must step in and support them” insists the rent guarantor service’s group managing director, Jeremy Robinson.

“Private accommodation providers cannot be expected to provide homes without being paid. In many instances, rent covers the landlord’s mortgage and maintenance costs, meaning that non-payment puts both the tenant and the landlord at risk” he continues.

“We need a solution in place before the second wave really hits and delivers a huge economic as well as health impact.”

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