ARLA Propertymark is one of seven trade and charity groups calling on the government to help bail out private renters with arrears triggered by the pandemic.
In a letter sent to The Times the groups say swift action to provide tenants and landlords with the security and stability needed during the pandemic should be an urgent priority for ministers.
A statement from ARLA this week says: “As the financial fallout continues, the need to sustain tenancies wherever possible is paramount. The best way to ensure this happens is to make sure that tenants can pay their rent.”
It continues: “A financial package should include boosting emergency funding to councils for interest free grants to support those in receipt of benefits and government-guaranteed hardship loans for tenants, like the schemes developed in Wales and Scotland.”
In August ARLA Propertymark - along with five other organisations representing tenants, landlords and letting agents - wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak demanding a short-term financial package to cover rent arrears created by the fall-out from Coronavirus.
ARLA says: “Many private landlords and letting agents have done what they can to support affected tenants. However, with the majority of landlords being individuals, who only rent out one property often as part of a pension, they are unable to continue to subsidise struggling tenants indefinitely.”
The association has now launched a campaign with the hashtag #Keeptherentflowing and wants agents to write to their MPs urging them to take action and ensure the government introduces emergency measures.
Several industry organisations, including the Belvoir franchise network of agencies, have called for a similar grant system.