Landlords to get help from £5m loan fund if renters fail to pay

Private landlords whose tenants are struggling to pay rent as a result of the coronavirus outbreak will be able to apply for an interest-free government loan from a new £5m fund.

Private landlords will be able to apply for a loan from the government if their tenants are behind on rent.
Private landlords will be able to apply for a loan from the government if their tenants are behind on rent.

The Scottish Governmen has launched the Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme today to offer landlords up to 100 per cent of lost rental income for a single property.

The fund will support those landlords who are not classified as businesses, have five or less properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants unable to pay rent as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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However landlords facing difficulties with repayments on a mortgage for a rental property are expected to have sought a mortgage repayment holiday from their bank before they apply for a loan.

The government has already introduced temporary legislation to support renters, extending notice periods for most eviction grounds to six months to ensure no-one loses their home during lockdown.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said the new £5m would help support both tenants and landlords. “This new £5 million loan fund offers landlords the same security as tenants, ensuring they have financial support if tenants struggle to pay rent because of coronavirus,” he said.

“While all tenants should pay their rent if they can, we recognise the financial pressure people are facing. The Scottish Government encourages landlords to talk to their tenants about rent payment issues. We also expect landlords to be as flexible as possible with their tenants, discuss managing rental payments and help them find sources of financial support and advice.”

Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) John Blackwood welcomed the fund, and said it recognised the “role private landlords play in the housing system.”

He added: “Collectively the housing sector needs an approach that protects all parts of housing in Scotland to guarantee we can provide the different types of quality housing we need. We want to continue to work with the government, as well as other public bodies, trade bodies and charities to ensure to achieve that and hope there will be further steps taken soon.”

The Private Rent Sector Landlord (non-business) COVID-19 Loan Scheme opened for applications today. The application process requires landlords to confirm they understand the terms of the temporary legislation in relation to eviction proceedings, and that they have discussed rent issues with their tenant and reached agreement on managing arrears.

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