Government Rent Arrears Support – All You Need to Know

The government has pledged to support people with low incomes in rent arrears because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we look at what this means for landlords and tenants.

When will the support be available?

The government will distribute the money between local authorities over the winter months. These authorities will then decide who is entitled to the support based on each individual situation.

How do tenants apply for the support?

Tenants who qualify for this support apply to their local authority for their case to be assessed. To find out how to do this, you can use the government website to find your local authority and their contact details.

It is not set in stone yet what information your local authority will require, but you should expect to be asked for evidence of rent arrears, proof of income, benefits and loss of earnings and details of anyone who lives with you.

What can landlords do?

A landlord is not permitted to apply for rent arrears support on behalf of their tenant. However, they should inform their tenant of this option and encourage them to apply.

How is the support issued?

If a tenant is granted the support, the arrears will be paid to the landlord directly.

Are there any other support options available?

There are other forms of government help for those struggling with rent payments. A household support fund was set up to assist vulnerable families with the cost of living. The Homeless prevention grant and discretionary housing payments are also available to prevent homelessness by helping tenants find or keep a home.

What does this mean for landlords and tenants in terms of rent arrears?

This means that there is hope and help out there. For tenants that have missed rent payments due to low earnings, this could make a world of difference. For landlords out-of-pocket due to rent arrears, this could ensure they received their payments. Landlords and tenants should find out exactly what their local authorities have in place for these situations if they need to go down this route.

If you would like to find out more about landlord and tenant rights, our friendly team is at hand to help. Contact Hardings Lettings on 01277 233400.