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Labour MP asks for 80% of landlord arrears to be paid by government

Labour MP Stephen Timms has asked Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to commit to five measures to tighten controls on the private rental sector.

Timms wants: The Housing Act to be amended to protect renters who have lost income during the Coronavirus pandemic; the Renters Reform Bill to be introduced as soon as possible to stop landlords using what he calls ‘no fault evictions’ during the rest of the pandemic; funding for councils to clear tenants’ debts in areas where the Local Housing Allowance is deemed inadequate; the government to resource local authority regulation of the private rental sector so they are able to help protect tenants from illegal eviction and harassment; and to support landlords “at a serious risk of financial hardship”, by allowing them to claim up to 80% of income lost through arrears.

Timms makes the call in a letter to Jenrick, in which he claims that over 500,000 private rental tenants are now in arrears as a result of the pandemic, which he claims has disproportionately hit renters from the ethnic minorities and poorer sections of the community. 

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