End of Covid protection looms for renters

“There are 9 million households in Britain renting from private landlords, the council or a housing association, and many of them have suffered a financial blow due to the coronavirus crisis,” says Salman Haqqi, personal finance spokesperson at the website money.co.uk. Although ministers have said they will look to extend it, no formal announcement has yet been made, leaving tenants unsure what their rights may be. So, many landlords are doing what they can to help but the fact remains that private tenants have had to rely on landlords’ good nature and ability to help, which is not a comfortable financial position to be in. One month to go Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says: “In the midst of this pandemic, it’s not right that renters should face the looming threat of eviction. He says: “More than half of renters have lost income and the moratorium on evictions has just one month left to run. The government has committed to preventing anyone losing their home as a result of the pandemic but we’re still in the dark about what comes next.” Unsustainable debt It may seem that the obvious right thing to do for tenants is to extend the no-eviction period in a similar way to the extension to the mortgage holiday scheme. The NRLA says its members are offering tenants different forms of help, including rent reductions or deferrals, rent-free periods or early release from tenancies. Salman Haqqi adds: “It’s worth bearing in mind that landlords may also be facing financial pressures if they need to make mortgage payments on their property, and tenants should continue to pay their rent if they can afford it. YouGov research commissioned by Nationwide shows that more than a quarter of renters are worried they won’t be able to meet their rent payments and 18 per cent are scared they will lose their homes.