Great news for Landlords affected by Covid, Last week the government announced a £65m fund for Covid related arrears which will be operated by local authorities.

They will have the choice of how to administer the funding within the overall proviso that any money will be paid directly to the landlord or agent, or to a new landlord if the household is trying to find a new home.

For months the Industry bodies including NRLA and ARLA Propertymark have been calling for such a scheme. Housing minister Eddie Hughes says: “We have taken action throughout the pandemic to support the most vulnerable families, and it is vital we continue to provide support as we enter the winter months. “This new funding will support families that are struggling and help to get them back on their feet as we begin to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Today’s announcement says the government is “grateful” to landlords for their support during the pandemic.

Around 3.8m households on low incomes are in arrears with household bill including rent, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Some 950,000 are thought to be in rent arrears, 1.4m are behind on council tax bills and 1.4m are behind on electricity and gas bills, the foundation claims.

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, says: “I am very pleased to hear the government has listened to our call to keep people in their homes and stop mass homelessness.
It is vital that they are taking preventative action to ensure people will not be left homeless this winter. The end of furlough and the lift of the eviction ban have posed a very grave danger to everyday families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of Covid-19 poverty.This is certainly a welcome announcement, however there is £360m in rent arrears in the UK currently, so far greater action will be needed to stop a catastrophic rise in homelessness."

It’s upsetting to see the number of affected families from Covid and hopefully things are sorted soon. However, is £65m enough? There are 353 Councils across the UK meaning this would be approximately £184,135.97 Per Council.

It still isn’t clear on the application process, criteria for selection or how long it takes to go through.

If you have been affected due to Covid-19 and would like have a chat , then please reach out to myself and I will do my utmost to assist.

Tristan Lee | Lettings Managing Partner | Avocado Property