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Generation Rent needlessly scaring tenants

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Tenant pressure group Generation Rent is wrong to say homelessness will treble due to rent arrears built as a result of coronavirus.

Analysis it released today wrongly assumes landlords are doing nothing to support tenants to stay in their homes where rent arrears are building. 

However independent polling for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) of more than 2,000 tenants across England and Wales found 90 per cent have been able to pay their rent as usual since the coronavirus crisis began.

Most, 82 per cent, had not needed to ask their landlord for any support. Of those that did ask, three quarters received a positive response.  

The NRLA argues that this shows that concerns over a spike in evictions once the current ban is lifted are unfounded.

The same polling, conducted by Dynata, shows that three per cent of tenants said that whilst they previously had no rent arrears, they have had to reduce the amount they pay in rent since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

One per cent of such tenants with no rent arrears prior to the pandemic said they had stopped paying their rent altogether. A further one per cent said that they had rent arrears building prior to lockdown, which have continued to increase. 

Chris Norris, Policy Director for the NRLA said: “Our survey reflects what we know from our members, which is that nearly all are seeking to support tenants to stay in their homes.

“Given that some 30 per cent of landlords have reported facing some level of financial hardship, they will do all they can to sustain tenancies. 

“That said we do support calls to boost the finances available to tenants who are struggling to pay their rent, especially as the furlough scheme begins to wind down. This should include ensuring that benefits cover the cost of rents.”   

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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