To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the ability of individual private landlords to sustain tenant rent arrears that have accrued since covid-19 lockdown measures started in March 2020.
28 June 2021
We have been supporting landlords through helping tenants with extensive financial support to continue paying rent. The UK Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support which is available to tenants. The Coronavirus Job Reception Scheme and the wider package of economic support measures have effectively prevented a widespread build up of rent arrears, by supporting private renters to continue paying their rent. This is evidenced by the latest published data from the English Housing Survey Household Resilience Study from November – December 2020, which suggests that the vast majority (91%) of private renters are up to date with their rent. Of the 9% (353,000 households) in arrears, two thirds are in arrears of less than 2 months. Given this, we expect that the majority of landlords have not seen significant losses due to tenant rent arrears since Covid-19 measures started in March 2020.
Where landlords find themselves in coronavirus-related hardship, mortgage lenders agreed to offer payment holidays of up to six months, including for buy-to-let mortgages. Mortgage payment holidays agreed before 31 March 2021 can continue until 31 July 2021, whilst other tailored forbearance options may be available through lenders.