The Mayor of London has called for changes to the benefits system so that the cost of private rents for tenants adversely affected by coronavirus are covered.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has commented: “Recent polling has indicated that just 2% of private tenants have had to stop paying rent due to the pandemic whilst 78% have not had to make any changes to their living situation. This shows that the vast majority of tenancies are continuing as normal, which we welcome.
“For those tenants who are struggling, by far the best solution is to ensure they are supported to prevent arrears building. We, therefore, welcome the Mayor’s calls to increase the Local Housing Allowance.
“In addition, we repeat our call on the Government to scrap the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit immediately and ensure tenants can have the housing element of the Credit paid directly to their landlord if they wish. This would provide tenants and landlords with the confidence that rents are covered and debts will not arise.”
Looking to the future, Beadle said: “Whilst the current situation is challenging for everyone, we need to avoid frightening households needlessly about the security of their homes.
“The vast majority of landlords are doing everything possible to support their tenants and sustain their tenancies at this difficult time. We will continue to ensure they have all the guidance and support they need to continue to do so both now and into the future.”