Ministers have ‘given up’ on private landlords struggling with rent debt

The government has ‘given up’ on landlords and tenants struggling with post-Covid rent arrears debt, trade body ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Ministers have ‘given up’ on private landlords struggling with rent debt | LandlordZONE.

Ministers have ‘given up’ on private landlords struggling with rent debt

The government has ‘given up’ on landlords and tenants struggling with post-Covid rent arrears debt, trade body the National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA) has said.

It is concerned that the sector faces a cliff edge as both rising energy prices, the end of furlough and the government’s decision to cut Universal Credit by £20-a-week impact tenants already struggling after months of Covid, and is demanding that the Chancellor introduces an interest-free hardship loan scheme.

The NRLA says renters are most likely to have lost their jobs or been furloughed during the pandemic and now face mounting rent debts.

To highlight the size of the problem, it has published a new report this morning which also highlights how, by the Government’s own admission, the percentage of private tenants in arrears tripled between 2019/20 to the end of 2020 from three to nine percent, and that many of their landlords are also now ‘highly vulnerable to rent arrears’, as the government itself recently admitted.

Interest-free loan

The NRLA is calling on the Chancellor to develop an interest-free, government-backed guaranteed hardship loan to support the majority of tenants with COVID related rent debts who are not eligible for benefit support.

This scheme would help these tenants to pay off their rent debts and would follow the introduction of similar schemes in Scotland and Wales. More broadly, it is calling on the Government to scrap plans cut Universal Credit payments to avoid potentially devastating consequences for tenants across the country.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA (pictured), says: “Many tenants and landlords have struggled to cope during the pandemic leaving them exposed to the impact of rent debts which they are unlikely to ever pay off.

“By ending furlough and cutting benefits in quick succession, and without the introduction of a targeted package to tackle COVID related rent debt, the Government is worsening an already critical situation.

“Without transitional support, and as the country gets back to normal, the Chancellor will be turning his back on those renters and landlords in desperate need of help.”

Read more:

Read Ben Beadle’s new guest blog for LandlordZONE on this subject.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Ministers have ‘given up’ on private landlords struggling with rent debt | LandlordZONE.

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‘Replace stamp duty and council tax with flat-rate levy paid by landlords’

A controversial proposal to scrap council tax, stamp duty and the bedroom tax, and replace them with ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ‘Replace stamp duty and council tax with flat-rate levy paid by landlords’ | LandlordZONE.

‘Replace stamp duty and council tax with flat-rate levy paid by landlords’

A controversial proposal to scrap council tax, stamp duty and the bedroom tax, and replace them with a flat-rate tax paid by landlords rather than tenants, has been proposed by a leading think tank.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) believes a proportional property tax would help to use existing housing stock more efficiently, rebalance property values across the country and increase spending among lower-income families – but it will hit landlords hard.

says higher taxes levied on more expensive properties in London and the South East could serve to reduce house prices in those areas, while most households would pay lower tax bills.

The IPPR labels the UK’s current system of property taxation unfair and outdated and believes it has not done enough to address the enormous increase in housing wealth that is primarily concentrated in London and the South East and has disproportionately benefitted the old and already wealthy.

Proportional tax

Introducing a proportional property tax paid by property owners not renters – a flat tax of 0.48% on the current value of residential property – would shift responsibility for payment from tenants to landlords, while a higher rate of 0.96% would be charged for second homes, empty homes, and homes owned by non-UK residents.

It explains: “In terms of the incidence of the tax, this analysis assumes that the full benefit of the reduction in council tax will be borne by tenants, and that a portion of the proportional property tax bill will be passed on to tenants – 66% for private renters, and 25% for social renters.

“In reality, in the long run we might expect the incidence of both of these changes to be largely borne by property owners, rather than by tenants.”

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - ‘Replace stamp duty and council tax with flat-rate levy paid by landlords’ | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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