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Housing Hand calls for government to step in between landlords and tenants who can’t pay rent

UK rent guarantor service Housing Hand is calling on the government to step in and solve the issue of mounting tenant debt caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is proposing a simple rent debt loan solution that would enable accommodation providers to avoid evicting non-paying tenants.
There are many different scenarios that are leading tenants to have difficulty paying their rent. Some can’t pay due to having been made redundant, being furloughed or having hours reduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Others are claiming Housing Benefit but not paying rent because they know they cannot be evicted. There is also a wide range of other circumstances, with the common thread being that, whatever the situation, the landlord is still legally entitled to payment.

According to Housing Hand, the pending housing crisis is not one of evictions getting out of control, but the rental debt the tenants owe and how they can repay the landlords who are legally entitled to be paid. A rent debt loan, paid to landlords by the government and then repaid by the tenant as affordability allows, could provide a simple way to avoid a huge number of evictions.

The landlords in all rent debt cases are losing. Some are happy to defer payment or reschedule but cannot countenance having nothing at all. This means that many will face the prospect of having to evict perfectly good tenants due to the financial impact of COVID-19. It also raises the prospect of them selling their asset, which isn’t a good outcome for anyone.