Renters Union Against Landlords’ Mortgage Holiday Extension

The London Renters Union is strongly against the government extending the mortgage holiday for landlords.

The Financial Times has said that there could be a possibility of the current mortgage holiday scheme introduced in March, which is due to finish at the end of June, could be extended by at least three months but with a stricter criteria and regime.

UK Finance, a trade association for the banking and financial services sector, says that borrowers who have taken advantage of the scheme have a monthly payment average of £755.

However the London Renters Union says: “Every landlord owns hundreds of thousands of pounds of wealth, while nearly two thirds of renters have no savings. Clearly, it’s renters who should be getting support right now.”

A government statement has not yet been released regarding an extension to the mortgage holiday, and the LRU says: “The government is prioritising landlords’ profits over renters’ survival. As well as getting an extended mortgage holiday, landlords are benefiting from the increase in the Universal Credit Local Housing Allowance, which effectively subsidises their wealth. What have renters been given? A weak and temporary eviction ban that has allowed many evictions to continue.”

The Renters Union has been contacted recently to find out how many evictions have taken place since the ban was introduced however a reply has not been forthcoming.

The Union’s statement continues: “The government has said it wants to avoid a sudden increase in financial distress when its temporary measures end. In that case, it needs to prevent the eviction crisis that will begin as soon as the temporary ban is lifted on 25 June. And it needs to end the rent crisis that has been building for years, but which the pandemic has magnified to catastrophic proportions.

“Instead, the government has only proposed the weakest of stop gap measures. It must suspend rent, cancel rent debt and make the eviction ban permanent. Otherwise we’re headed for a disastrous rent debt and eviction crisis.”

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