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Rents: Arrears

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 33318, tabled on 14 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will bring forward policy proposals to support tenants with rent arrears whose income was reduced as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

19 July 2021

The UK Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support during the pandemic, which is available to tenants.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit are in place until the end of September helping renters to continue paying their rent. Local housing allowance rates have been maintained at their increased level in cash terms in 2021/22, meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector continue to benefit from the significant increase in the local housing allowance rates applied in April 2020.

For those who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available. For 2021-22 the Government has made £140 million available in DHP funding, building on the £180 million provided last year.

Renters also continue to benefit from longer notice periods, giving them more time to make alternative arrangements. As of 1 June, until at least 30 September, notice periods must be at least 4 months except in the most egregious cases.  Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.