Landlords Worried About Thousands Of Tenants Failing Referencing

Tenants with rent arrears built up during the pandemic will be finding it near impossible to find other ‘residences’ as their credit scores will have been shot to pieces.

A trade body has estimated that near 210,000 renters are affected by this.

With the emergency restrictions being eased from June 1st, the trade body says that from its poll of 2,000 private tenants it indicates that 7% of renters since the pandemic’s onslaught, have gone into rental arears over the last 15 months.

25% of tenants with arrears have said their landlord is obtaining a court order to try reclaim the debt. In such cases where the landlord had been granted an order it will ultimately damage a renter’s credit score, which of course will impede their chances of finding new accommodation in the future.

The trade body’s data reveals that those in arrears caused by the pandemic the average debt is around £900; however approximately 30% now owe £1,000 or more.

The research also found that 80% of tenants in arrears did not owe any rent prior to the pandemic.
The trade body says the majority of renters  who are in arrears are unable to qualify for emergency housing support, which is only provided by councils to those on  benefits.

Further impact on tenants has been caused by the government freezing housing benefit rates in cash terms, described by the Institute for Fiscal Studies as “arbitrary and unfair.”

A spokesperson for the trade body says: “As the private rented sector moves out of lockdown measures, the Chancellor has failed to provide tenants with the support they need. This is especially the case for the majority of those in rent arrears who do not qualify for benefit support.

“Without urgent assistance, many tenants face the prospect of losing their home needlessly as landlords struggle to shoulder the cost of arrears. Affected tenants also potentially face the negative impact of damage to their credit scores.

“The government needs to develop a financial package which ensures that benefits cover the rents of those in receipt of them. For those who do not qualify for benefit support, an interest free, government guaranteed tenant hardship loan should be established, similar to those in Wales and Scotland.”

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