LATEST: Scots government reveals new £10m rent arrears fund

The Scottish government is to introduce a £10 million grant fund to help tenants who have fallen ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Scots government reveals new £10m rent arrears fund | LandlordZONE.

LATEST: Scots government reveals new £10m rent arrears fund

The Scottish government is to introduce a £10 million grant fund to help tenants who have fallen into rent arrears during the Covid pandemic.

Announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney (pictured) as part of a debate on passing the SNP government’s Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill.

Swinney says he expects the legislation to be ready within eight weeks and that the scheme will go live ‘later this year’.

“We will work with stakeholders over the coming weeks to develop the details. We will deliver a new national awareness-raising campaign to ensure that all tenants are aware of their rights,” he said.

“Those crucially important interventions will help tenants and landlords to move towards a sustainable and fair recovery from the impact of the coronavirus.

But the new £10 million grant fund announcement did not pass without criticism. MSP Jackie Baillie pointed out that the previous tenant hardship “fund’s criteria are so tight that less than 5 per cent of the fund has been allocated and twice as many applications have been rejected as have been approved”.

Gaps

Citizen Advice Scotland, reacting to the announcement, said: “CAS is pleased to see the Scottish Government recognise the need for exactly this kind of support.

“Our evidence has shown consistently that people were still falling through the gaps, with rent arrears mounting up through factors completely out of their control.”

As LandlordZONE , landlords in Scotland are worried that the Coronavirus Extension and Expiry Bill Coronavirus Extension and Expiry Bill would mean effectively extending the existing eviction ban much further than originally envisaged, possibly by an additional six months.


©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Scots government reveals new £10m rent arrears fund | LandlordZONE.

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LATEST: Landlord duo to repay tenants £34,000 after rent-to-rent deal goes wrong

A landlord pair have been ordered to pay more than £34,000 in back rent to six tenants ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Landlord duo to repay tenants £34,000 after rent-to-rent deal goes wrong | LandlordZONE.

LATEST: Landlord duo to repay tenants £34,000 after rent-to-rent deal goes wrong

A landlord pair have been ordered to pay more than £34,000 in back rent to six tenants after sub-letting their unsafe, unlicensed HMO via a rent-to-rent deal.

James and Catherine Doig were slapped with the rent repayment order despite insisting that they didn’t know about licensing rules.

The pair had let the property in Fordwych Road, Camden (pictured), to Rosemary Espinosa and Victoria Lai since 2009 on annually renewed tenancy agreements for a monthly rent of £2,600, who then sublet it to individual tenants, collecting monthly rental payments totalling £2,920.

Camden Council officers found nine tenants in four households using the property and sharing bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

They also uncovered numerous safety issues including obstructed fire escapes, inadequate fire doors, untested fire alarms and smoke detectors that didn’t work.

There were also large piles of personal items and furniture throughout the common areas of the house.

Ignorance and confusion

James Doig told the First Tier Property Tribunal that he knew nothing about HMO licencing, pleading ignorance, confusion and an inability to manage paperwork.

He claimed the pair didn’t realise it had been sub-let but admitted they had visited the property and seen other people living there who they didn’t know.

Doig suggested that Rosemary Espinosa and Victoria Lai should have applied for a licence.

The tribunal noted that the couple had never expressed concern about the dangers faced by the tenants as a result of their failures to comply with statutory HMO letting requirements, nor did they express any regret that this had happened.

Tenants Redindo Felix, Amor Bustamente, Rosemary Burias, Esperanza Ford, Luz Tonido and Ireno Tonido will be paid a total of £34,843 as well as £300 fees. Since the council’s enforcement order the Doigs have now applied for a licence.

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©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Landlord duo to repay tenants £34,000 after rent-to-rent deal goes wrong | LandlordZONE.

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