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Government must help young renters hit by furlough end - lettings group

A lettings sector trade body, acting with homelessness charities, is urging the government to do more as young people in rented housing become more vulnerable as the furlough scheme winds down.

The National Residential Landlords Association, which commissioned a poll on the subject, says 24 per cent of private renters aged 16 to 24 are reliant on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which operates the furlough arrangements.

And 27 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 rely on it. 


This compares with around 17 per cent of all those aged 19 to 39 according to the Resolution Foundation.

From next month the scheme will begin to require employers to pay National Insurance and pension contributions whilst the Government’s subsidy, currently 80 per cent of wages, will then fall to 70 per cent in September and 60 per cent in October. 

Now the NRLA together with the homeless charities Crisis and Centrepoint are calling on the government to boost the safety net available to young renters in three ways:

- following the decision to increase the Local Housing Allowance to cover the bottom 30 per cent of rents in any given area, ministers should go further by suspending the benefit cap;

- advance loans provided to Universal Credit claimants to cover the five week waiting period to receive the first payment of the Credit should be converted to grants, this “ending the debt that is baked into the system”;

- changes should also be made to the Shared Accommodation Rate which limits the amount that those under the age of 35 can access in housing support to the cost of renting a room in a shared house. This should include immediately bringing forward plans announced in the Budget earlier this year to extend exemptions from the SAR to include rough sleepers aged 16 to 24, care leavers up to the age of 25, and victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking. 

“Young renters have borne the brunt of the COVID crisis. Many have relied on the furlough scheme to enable them to pay their rent. As this support reduces there is a serious danger that they will struggle to meet their payments” according to Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive.

“The vast majority of landlords approached for help by their tenants have responded positively and that will continue to be the case as they do all they can to sustain tenancies.

“But both tenants and landlords need the security of knowing rents can continue to be paid, just as with mortgages and rents for social housing. Plans need to be made to ensure that there will be adequate support in place to enable all tenants to continue to afford their housing costs.”

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    Thought you had to be of the age of consent (18) to rent a property. Why then are 16 year old tenants mentioned in the survey?


    I believe there are a number of charities that rent houses for under 18s, usually with one room for an adult 'carer'. How this fits in with the article I cannot say.

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    Young tenants will need to pay a lot more attention to what they are worth to society. Society is going to be very harsh for quite a while into the foreseeable future. The days of, "I've got my rights" to be housed are going to be in abeyance for some time yet. I would suggest that with overpopulation as we have now those, "Rights" will never return no matter how much the politicians twiddle the hard truths to get votes.

    A sensible young person now needs to to pay a lot of attention to education, avoid spurious politics of the left and get as educated as they can manage. Historically it is not long since men had to be established before they married and ladies did not marry any man (anyone I suppose) who could not keep them while they had children.

    Landlords will need to look for these qualities as well. If there is a lack of capable tenants then properties will be sold or as happened in the early seventies, will remain empty and unsold in their their thousands.

    • 01 September 2020 09:48 AM

    Yep there will be a massive decline in suitable tenants.
    LL would as you suggest be better off selling.
    But now we have big CGT bills coming.
    LL need to sell before the budget


    Not just young tenants, Fred. Thanks to the Goverment interference I suspect landlords will be more selective and wanting Rent Guarantee Insurance.

    I used to take out RGI for just the imnitial six months, but in future it will be for the whole term of the tenancy.

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    • 01 September 2020 11:27 AM


    Interesting and very pertinent suggestion on RGI.
    My understanding is that RGI lasts no longer than 1 year.
    Then a new policy required.
    What happens if the LL is already a year into a protracted eviction process!?
    Or does RGI pay out until eviction no matter how long it takes with no requirement to renew a RGI policy if it is taking ages to evict!


    I take mine out through Rentshield but have yet to need it past 12 months - only time will tell for that. I know I can have a six or 12 month tenancy and it is transferable between tenants at the same property so if one leaves at the end of six months and Renshield reference the new one, I can transfer the policy to the new tenant.

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    • 01 September 2020 11:55 AM

    Interesting the whole RGI conundrum.
    On face value it certainly makes sense as I have espoused over the years.

    Now I'm not so sure as I have heard rumours of RGI refusing to pay out because of CV19 and all sorts of other exclusions which render RGI practically useless.

    I guess if I was to consider RGI it would be required to thoroughly research the market.

    Things I reckon have substantially changed since I last used RGI with unfortunately a successful claim.

    All very difficult etc to the point that I'm done with TENANTS.
    Lodgers only for me now.

    Just a shame I'm still in the PRS when I've been trying to get out since Feb 2015 when dopey Osborne announced S24.
    That was the trigger for me to go that sadly I haven't yet been able to pull.

    What do you call a LL that is desperate to not be one!?


    What do you call a LL that is desperate to not be one!?

    Answer: Frustrated by Government policy.

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    • 01 September 2020 12:02 PM

    Yep absolutely
    Eviction ban have been the main catalysts to motivate me to get out of the AST PRS.
    Just everything seems to frustrate me from selling into a 'normal' market.
    I envy those LL that have already sold up!!

    If it wasn't for these bonkers anti-LL policies then I would have wished to remain a LL for some time.
    Now I can't wait to get out!

    DOESN'T look like that will be achievable for a few years!

  • Patrick  Rodgers

    Yeah same here I can't wait to sell up it's a joke the council's are going to have to find these people accommodation am surprised they don't have anything to say about this at the end of the day there the ones that are going to have the problem of having to fork out for these people

    • 01 September 2020 13:31 PM

    Unfortunately we LL haven't sold up in sufficient numbers to have any major effects.

    A lot more LL need to sell up before Councils realise what is happening.


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