Urgent action needed to tackle rent debt crisis

A number of leading organisations have united to issue a joint statement following the reintroduction of a national lockdown urging the government to get a grip on the mounting rent debt crisis.

Around half a million private tenants in the UK are behind with their rent, according to research by Citizens Advice.

The average amount owed is more than £700, the charity says, and about a quarter of private renters in arrears have been threatened with eviction or cancellation of the their tenancy agreement by their landlord, the charity claims.

The joint statement , backed by organisations including the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), ARLA Propertymark, the Nationwide Building Society, Shelter, and StepChange Debt Charity, calls for a package of measures to help renters pay off arrears built since March last year when the initial lockdown started.

The joint statement said: “Many thousands of private renters and landlords across the country now face rent arrears due to the impact of the pandemic.

“Ministers have failed to address the core problem of debts which have built despite the financial package put in place so far. Indeed, the chancellor confirmed that housing benefit will not be linked to the cost of renting for future years.

“Renters, landlords and letting agents cannot be expected simply to muddle through indefinitely where they face these financial difficulties. The government needs to develop an urgent package to help renters in paying off arrears built since March last year.

“Without further action, debts will continue to mount, making it far more difficult to sustain tenancies and keep renters in their homes after the pandemic.”

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  1. paulgbar666

    What a load of twaddle.


    It seems those protesting justifiably as to the issues of tenant debts have no understanding that the Govt has NOT the slightest intention to ever assist LL.

    It is trying to eradicate small LL.

    The CV19 crisis and consequent eviction ban is heaven sent as far as Govt is concerned.

    They recognise that with rent debts and the eviction ban that this will force many LL out of business which is exactly want they want.

    Govt started this process with S24 and now CV19 has come along to assist Govt even more to get rid of LL.

    Govt is trying it’s best to get rid of leveraged LL which comprises about 50% of the PRS.

    There isn’t much it can do against unleveraged LL.

    It can of course continue to make it very painful for such LL with the eviction ban.

    But most of these LL are able to cope with rent defaulting tenants and being unable to evict them.


    But Govt is taking the opportunity to put even more leveraged LL out of business.

    It cares nothing for their survival.

    Where the tenants of these LL are supposed to live doesn’t even enter the tiny little minds of Govt policymakers.


    There is a Govt ideology which wishes LL gone and isn’t interested in the effects of such a ridiculous ideology on tenants.

    There is simply NO way that Govt will be assisting LL at all.


    Remember even when the dysfunctional eviction process was operating prior to the even more dysfunctional process made even worse with the new increased eviction ban period;rent defaulting tenants were costing LL annually about £9 billion.

    Of course Govt is missing out on tax on that defaulted rent but that is still far cheaper than paying TA costs for all the rent defaulting tenants who are able to string out the eviction process for months.


    Govt knows that very little of the normal £9 billion of losses per year is ever recovered by LL.

    Such circumstances must inevitably impose such financial pressures on LL to motivate them to leave the PRS.

    This is exactly what the Govt wants.

    So all stakeholders in the PRS are deluding themselves if they have any expectation that Govt will cough up for defaulted rent.




    LL need to wakeup and realise that Govt intends to eradicate them by whatever means.

    LL if you can’t stand the heat then you’re gonna have to get out of the kitchen!!


    It is of course a massive slap in the face for all those LL who have struggled and strived to provide a good accommodation service to mostly desperate tenants.


    Govt doesn’t care that LL have achieved this.

    It simply wants LL gone especially leveraged ones.

    It has NO Plan B for where millions of homeless tenants would live.


    But that just about sums up the ideological stupidity of this Govt.

    LL you are on your own.

    Sink or swim.

    Govt doesn’t care what happens to you!


    1. Tegs Dad

      @Paul, the government seems to be backing institutional landlords via Build to Rent. Small landlords who are trying to supplement their pension are being thrown to the wolves,

      1. paulgbar666

        I don’t have a problem with BTR.

        But it is not a level playing field.

        Apparently the BTR operators are being given massive Govt assistance to the tune of more than £65 million.


        Hardly a level playing field.

        But we are where we are.

        If BTR could replace the small LL then in principle I have no objection to BTR.


        No accommodation supplier has the right to retain the market they operate in.

        But for the life of me I cannot see BTR being anywhere near enough to replace the small LL that Govt wishes to eradicate.

        If eventually the PRS comprises only of BTR then fair enough.

        No LL has the right to exist.

        LL just expect to operate in a fair market which Govt has ensured ISN’T the case.

        There is not much such LL can do about it.

        Yep the wolves certainly won’t be starving; plenty more LL food!!!


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