Tenants should get help clearing Covid arrears, says charity

The Citizens Advice charity is warning it has seen a huge surge in private renters worried about arrears.

And it says many renters will need financial support to pay back these debts or risk losing their homes.

It says views of the Citizens Advice web page on ‘Dealing with rent arrears’ have increased fourfold year on year, and the number of people seeking advice concerning possible homelessness has also risen.

Previous research by Citizens Advice has indicated over a third of private sector renters have seen their income fall by 20 per cent or more.

The charity is also calling for extra funding to be made available to support people to pay back arrears resulting from Coronavirus.

“The dramatic jump in the need for advice on rent arrears should be a warning sign for the government that many people are deeply worried about the possibility of losing their home” says Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

“Renters have been particularly vulnerable to the economic effects of Covid-19, yet protections for them run out sooner than many of the other measures to help people struggling, including those for mortgage payers” she continues.

“Many renters won’t be in a position to repay arrears built up due to Coronavirus. Without help, they risk losing the roof over their head through no fault of their own.”

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