ARLA Propertymark is backing a controversial scheme allocating £10m of taxpayers’ money to assist tenants with Covid-related arrears.
The Tenancy Hardship Grant means private tenants may be eligible for the grant if their arrears have been the result of a loss of income due to furlough, a reduction in work or because they were only able to claim Statutory Sick Pay when ill with Covid-19.
The grant, administered by local authorities, will be open to people who are not receiving housing-related benefits. It will replace the Tenancy Saver Loan, which was introduced in December 2020. Anyone who received a loan will have that loan converted to a grant.
Daryl McIntosh, policy manager at Propertymark, backs the measure and says: “The Tenancy Hardship Grant, announced by the Welsh Government, is a welcome step in supporting tenants in Covid-related rent arrears and will help to lighten the financial burden that landlords have faced during the pandemic.
“We will continue to work with the Welsh Government to ensure that the scheme reaches those who need it, and encourage tenants to register their interest in the scheme as soon as possible.”
However, some have dismissed the scheme.
Michael Johnson of Amzac Estates in Cardiff has written a comment on an earlier Letting Agent Today story about the grant, saying: “As we virtually cannot evict for arrears of rent unless its over six months and the court hearing date is into 2022, what motivates a tenant with arrears to crystallise the debt when in all probability they will end up getting away with paying nothing?
“The current ultra left wing Welsh Assembly could not care a hoot about landlords or tenants they just like to look like they are doing something.”