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Charity demands grants for tenants with Coronavirus arrears

The Citizens Advice charity is calling for tenants with arrears directly created by the Coronavirus to be offered government grants to help them out of debt.

Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says this should be the principle goal of government in the four week breathing space created by the eviction ban U-turn announced on Friday.

“We’re really pleased the government has stepped in to keep its promise that no renter will lose their home because of the Coronavirus pandemic - for now at least” she says.


“During this extended pause on new eviction proceedings, we hope the government will work with Citizens Advice and others to put in place a series of protections which will help those who’ve built up rent arrears get back on their feet.

“We’d like to see funding for a dedicated set of protections, including measures such as grants for those in arrears due to Coronavirus.

“This would not only directly help those affected, but also contribute towards consumer confidence and the economic recovery.”

At the end of last month the charity claimed that its web page on ‘Dealing with rent arrears’ had seen its hit-rate increase four-fold year on year, and said the number of people seeking advice concerning possible homelessness had also risen.

Previous research by Citizens Advice claimed that over a third of private sector renters had seen their income fall by 20 per cent or more since March.

  • jeremy clarke

    If the debt is rent, it must be paid directly to the landlord.

    • 25 August 2020 08:46 AM

    Asolutely...It is rightfully yours and the Govt. must be made to understand that these people will just fritter the money away and it will not be used in the rightful manner!!!!!

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    Can I have a grant to pay the interest accrued during my much lauded ‘mortgage holiday’?

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    • 26 August 2020 08:59 AM

    You, as a landlord, cannot get ANYTHING....Zippo, Zilch, Nada..

    Tch, tch! I thought you would know by now that the Govt. wants to destroy your business, your livelihood and as much of your income that it can take from you, the happier they are.

    You are a landlord after all, so you are the lowest of everyone, and are considered scum.

    Mark Wilson

    Its not that you are scum Mr Crisp despite most of your view, BTL speculation is not a business it is a punt on growth, often funded with borrowing. If it goes wrong who is to blame? Not the taxpayer.


    Same garbage Mark.

    It is not a speculation on growth in any way and what has borrowing got to do with anything? Plenty of other businesses borrow money (eg bounce back loans) so a totally irrelevant comment, which tbf is one of your trade marks.

    Nobody is suggesting the tax payer should be blamed, well nobody here anyway. In fact you're the only person to bring it up.

    The point is that Government has tied the hands of the landlord and is shirking its responsibility to house people that cannot pay for themselves to be housed. Perhaps you'd be happy for Government to force you to provide your services to people who won't pay you??? No??? Thought not.

    If you do have a client that doesn't pay, what do you do Mark? Just say 'Never mind, next please'?

    It really is about time you grew up.


    Absolutely correct Mr Crisp! As someone who has run this BUSINESS full time for 20 years, and was a leading member of the Axe the Tenant Tax campaign against the government’s idiotic Section 24, I have seen first hand, and in meetings and communications galore with them, that that is precisely what is happening. Worse, it doesn’t seem to be over yet either!

    Mark Wilson comes out with the usual tripe about speculation. Obviously not a sound and researched investment decision, nor a long-term commitment to providing a legally-obligated essential service as my team do proactively 24 hours a day. No, he calls it ‘speculation’ which it cannot possibly be as it is not a short-term trade, a key requirement of a speculative financial punt. Maybe he is also invading the boards of day-traders, telling them off for trying to influence share prices in minute by minute ‘investment’! It would be funny if it wasn’t so utterly inept a description.

    Even the govt sees property management as a business, so anyone undertaking that is most definitely not a speculator, but regardless of this, you Mr Crisp are correct. The govt thinks SDLT surcharges, 100% or even infinite tax rates, licensing and legislative changes are perfectly reasonable yet wonder why there is a large and growing homelessness crisis. Idiots the lot of them.


    Indeed James.

    Mr Wilson is apparently referring to an increase in property prices which a landlord may, or may not benefit from.

    I wonder what he'd say to Warren Buffet whose business model involves buying companies he considers cheap and then waits gor an increase in value in them. Is Mr Wilson seriously suggesting that Berkshire Hathaway is not a business??? :D

    Mark Wilson

    errr, BTL is not a business. Property management is a business, there is a difference. Either way the easy money is made. I see nothing stopping rent controls come to come to add to the mix.

     G romit

    So car hire companies, tool hire companies and even furniture hire companies aren't businesses by your reckoning.

    Mark you do talk utter crap, you wouldn't be a politician by any chance?


    Hey Gromit you are of course completely correct but there's no-one so blind as a man that cannot see (one of my grandmother's expressions that sums up Mr W IMHO).

    What genuinely puts a smile on my face is that he touts for landlord business on his website and then comes on here with the sole intention of pi**ing them off. Great marketing plan isn't it?

    When it comes down to it there's only likely to be serious players that visit this site. I wonder how many of them would consider using him. A big round number I suspect.

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    Almost right, CAB…except it should be a Govt. loan to the tenant. Grants would cost us all.

     G romit

    Grants would be unfair to all those tenants who have paid their rent, possibly from savings or borrowed from family. It would also encourage tenants to default.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Absolutely Luke, - Look, the concept is already out there - The Welsh Govt are doing it so nobody has to 'invent Rocket-science ' just copy, or as is popular with the Government, ...
    Do ( Another ) ' U-Turn '

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    • 26 August 2020 21:56 PM

    It is my belief that eventually karma will come to the feckless.

    Not something I would ordinarily do until evicted.
    But from now on after 1 month a 1 day of rent default I will be applying for a CCJ.
    If the tenant pays then the fee is paid as well.
    Most tenants will still be at the property so no problem being traced!

    I will be warning future occupants what I WILL be doing in the event of 2 months rent default.
    I will renew the CCJ every 6 years to prevent it being barred from Statute Recovery.
    This will carry on until I'm dead!!

    I would have the ability to seriously muck up a feckless rent defaulting tenants life!

    My mistake has been to leave a CCJ until tenants have vacated.

    Just imagine you go for a mortgage and the lender rejects you for an unsatisfied but still active CCJ from 12 years ago!!


    And if you insist on a homeowner guarantor too, you’ll very likely get paid.

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    • 26 August 2020 23:19 PM


    Yep in an ideal world what you suggest makes sense.
    In over 12 years of letting I have NEVER been able to source a homeowning guarantor.

    I know I would NEVER stand as a guarantor for any tenant no matter even if close family.
    My experience has been family is even more feckless than unrelated tenants!

    RGI on a guarantor is far more effective.
    Only problem then is RGI has been somewhat debased on the basis that claims are being declined.

    The reason for rent defaulting shouldn't be any reason to decline claims.

    Without RGI a LL is pretty much defenceless.
    A guarantor is only as good as any property equity they have.
    Plus few LL have guarantors for as long as the tenancy lasts.
    That means until a surrender letter is received or bailiffs have evicted.


    Hi Paul,

    30+ years, 350+ properties, one of the poorest areas of the country and every single tenant has a homeowner guarantor. Never not been paid and agreement lasts for life of tenancy - periodic or otherwise (until properly ended). If you’ve decided on going to Court anyway, may as well go the additional step. Unlike RGI, it has the added benefit of usually being a family member who will have more sway with the tenant and sort problems out at an earlier stage, once they realise they’re at risk. RGI can’t have a quiet word to settle down any ASB, for example, or arrange to clear the garden of a steady build up of rubbish the neighbour is complaining about. Prevention is better than a cure and all that…

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    • 27 August 2020 04:14 AM

    Oh! I consider you have performed magnificently.

    Just doesn't seem to be the guarantors my way.
    I agree entirely with the efficacy of a guarantor.

    Just never been possible for me.

    They struggle to come up with a deposit my way!
    I don't think any of my lot have ever been in a stable Govt job.
    All flakey hospitality workers .

    For me among so many other things it is the dearth of quality tenants that just gives me too much stress.

    Just can't be bothered with the hassle anymore.
    I know I could cope with 3 lodgers easily.
    I take my hat off to you and what you have achieved.
    Just not for me.
    For me small is beautiful.
    It is as much as I wish to bother with.
    You need a certain dedication to achieve what you have.
    I certainly lack that dedication.
    I'll take a reduction in rental income from just one property via lodgers.
    No real worries about the mortgage payment.
    Lodgers are a plenty.
    Far easier having single unrelated lodgers.

    You are obviously one of the rare truly professional LL.
    There aren't many of you with most of the PRS being little chaps like me.
    I don't think many of us would even wish to be as successful as you have obviously been.

    I believe most LL would be perfectly content with just one unencumbered rental property.

    Perhaps that is what many LL will reduce to.
    It makes life a lot easier.

    For the small LL having multiple leveraged properties has become a real PITA!!

    Downsizing certainly makes business sense for many with the Govt continually sticking the boot in to prevent us operating successfully.
    In light of all that has occurred I consider that the PRA should restrict leverage to no more than 50%.

    It would have certainly constrained me and would now have left me in a far more resilient position than I am now.
    Perhaps I wouldn't even to be seeking to getting out of AST lettings.

    But this CV19 thing has stressed me out to the point I don't want the hassle anymore.
    Yes I make large good profits but it simply isn't enough to make me to want to stay an AST LL.
    If they all default I'm bankrupted.
    My time of life I can do without the hassle.
    I don't even really need the income.
    I can get by on my pension.
    I don't live it large.
    Never have and never will.
    It's just not me!

  • Anthony Constantinou CWM

    Charity and rent both are different things. Coronavirus has impacted everyone.


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