New regulations published last week will mean tenants can build almost 18 months of rent arrears without any sanction. The rules say that until 11January 2021, possession orders by the courts related to rent arrears can only be enforced where the arrears amount to nine months or more of rent built before 23 March. Anything built since then would be disregarded.
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) argues that this is a missed opportunity to help those tenants in financial difficulty due to Covid-19. It does nothing to address housing debt accrued since the beginning of the pandemic.
Ben Beadle, chief executive at the NRLA, said: “In trying to arrive at a compromise the Government has failed to help those in genuine need whilst rewarding those whose arrears have nothing to do with the pandemic, and in some cases are wilfully not paying their rent.
“This is doing nothing to help those tenants that are trying to do the right thing and seeking to pay off their debts. Instead of prolonging the problem with short-term fixes, the Government needs to urgently bring in a financial package to enable tenants to pay off rent arrears.”