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Give renters two years to pay back arrears after coronavirus, says Labour

Labour has called for renters to be given up to two years to pay back rent arrears built up during the coronavirus crisis, citing research released last week that up to 1.7m renters may lose their jobs during the pandemic.

The suggestion is part of a five-point plan to be presented to government to help protect the most vulnerable members of society as the expected post-lockdown recession begins to bite economically.

Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing, Thangam Debbonaire, said giving tenants more time to pay back rent arrears would be essential to stop an ‘unprecedented and devastating spike’ in homelessness and rough sleeping during the crisis. She added: “Current protections for people renting their homes are woefully inadequate. Unless the government acts now, many thousands of tenants will be at risk of losing their homes.”

However, despite the long period that the party is suggesting to allow tenants to repay unpaid rent to landlords, some landlords will no doubt be relieved as it is still a better proposal than the “rent cancellation” policy that many “hard left” members of the Labour party were originally calling for.

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