A tenant hardship loan fund is to open next week in Scotland - and many rental bodies in England and Wales want something similar.
Applications for the £10m fund are allowed from next Monday although its online portal has already opened.
The fund will offer loans to tenants in both the private rented and social sectors who have difficulties meeting their rent each week or month.
However it is available only to clear arrears accrued since January 1 this year and/or are being used to pay a maximum of three future months’ rent payments. Only a maximum of nine months rent can be applied for.
Applicants must agree to an affordability and credit check before being offered a loan as well as confirming they had no arrears prior to January.
The Energy Savings Trust, which is administering the scheme for the Scottish Government, is charged with ensuring the loan is used to pay registered landlords.
Repayments must be made in six monthly instalments or in one go, but payments are currently deferred for six months anyway.
Advice from ARLA Propertymark says: “With the Pre-Action Requirements for rent arrears having recently been introduced - which requires agents and landlords to signpost the availability of financial support to tenants, and evidence they have done so before the Tribunal will issue a possession order - both agents and landlords should keep in mind the availability of the loan and ensure tenants are informed of any potential financial support.”
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