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Call for ‘furlough’ for renters as England enters lockdown

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Tenant campaign group, Generation Rent has called on the government to introduce a ‘coronavirus home retention scheme’ for struggling tenants.

furlough for renters

Following the news that England would enter a four-week national lockdown, the group wants evictions for rent arrears to be suspended and for £750 million to be made available to clear tenants’ debts. The money would also fund discretionary grants to allow landlords to claim for up to 80% of lost income.

In addition, Generation Rent is asking for action to ensure that benefits cover housing costs, while renewing its call for the abolition of Section 21 evictions, to prevent “unnecessary hardship”.

The group’s director, Baroness Alicia Kennedy said: “As the furlough scheme nears its end, people are worrying about how they will keep their heads above water. More than a million employees are at risk of redundancy and a quarter of them are private renters.

“Thousands of renters started claiming Universal Credit at the start of the pandemic and have found that it is nowhere near enough to cover the rent they owe.

“Every month their debt piles up. Without additional support for renters, the government will preside over mass impoverishment of millions of people.”

Generation Rent estimates that 400,000 private renters work in the hard-pressed hospitality sector or in businesses, such as hairdressers and gyms, which could face closure as stricter measures are imposed.

Campaigners say these employees will become more reliant on Universal Credit to pay their rent and have called for the restoration of the Local Housing Allowance to the median rent and the removal of benefit caps.

Read more about this story on the Landlord Today website.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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