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New interest-free, tenant hardship loan scheme launched in Scotland

A new Tenant Hardship Loan Fund to help renters cope with housing costs during the Covid-19 pandemic has been launched north of the border. 

The package to support people struggling to pay their rent due to financial difficulty associated with the coronavirus crisis, which will form part of a wider £10m fund, will open later in the Autumn. 

The Scottish government hopes the new fund will go a long way to supporting tenants struggling to keep up with rent payments.


It has already been announced that the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund, which helps tenants in receipt of benefits, will increase by £3m, bringing the total to £19m. 

In addition, the £60m DHP budget is already being used to fully mitigate the bedroom tax.

Emergency legislation put in place to protect private and social tenants from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic will be extended by six months, pending approval from the Scottish Parliament.

Ministers will also introduce new regulations to allow for the notice period for eviction for anti-social or criminal behaviour to return to one month to protect other neighbours.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “Tackling inequality and supporting people is a central theme of this year’s Programme for Government and this package of support for tenants is part of that.

“We already know that the pandemic has hit the lowest earners hardest and the Scottish government has already put in place a range of actions in place to support tenants.

“This new £10m fund, along with a further increase in our Discretionary Housing Payment funds, will mean that no one should be left in a position where they cannot access support to pay their rent. The intention is that this fund will open in November for those unable to access other forms of support to help meet their housing costs.

“We have been clear that no landlord should evict a tenant because they have suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic. I fully expect landlords to be flexible with anyone facing such challenges, signposting them to the sources of financial support available, and tenants in difficulty should engage with their landlord and seek advice on the options open to them.

“I can confirm that emergency legislation will be extended to ensure no evictions can take place until March 2021. However, since the initial legislation was introduced we have listened carefully to tenants and housing authorities concerned that a three month notice period is too long where tenants have behaved in an anti-social or criminal way. 

“We are therefore reverting back to a one month period for repossession for such cases to ensure we can protect other tenants, neighbours and landlords who should not have to tolerate such behaviour.”

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  • icon

    Some common sense from the SNP? Some could be forgiven for thinking a Holyrood election was due next May!

    I just wish they would stop talking about the non existent Bedroom tax! This was a perfectly justified removal of the spare room subsidy which subsidised social housing tenants to remain in larger homes which they should have vacated to allow families in cramped accommodation to have more suitable accommodation.

    However credit to the SNP where it's due, although 1 right decision out of about 999 is hardly a pass mark - even if they do get to correct their own homework currently!

     G romit

    That's because they've used a flawed algorithm.
    Step1. Put a bunch of ignorant idiots in charge
    Step2. ...........

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    What about when Tenants don't want to take up the loan, because they Know the landlord Can't evict them. !
    The Governments have ALL off-loaded their welfare responsibilities and debt onto private LANDLORDS.

    Landlords up and Down the Country All need to fund a legal challenge to the Govt.


    Sorry Seb. My moan about having to take the time and trouble to chase up people who won't keep to our agreement is still valid - as well as moans about losing money due to some people genuinely unable to pay due to unexpected change in circumstances - whom I won't pursue with ccj's.

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    • 02 September 2020 16:35 PM

    No tenant will bother with these loans.
    They know they can live rent free until evicted.
    Very little chance of a LL being successful in Civil Recovery.

    But I suppose some decent tenants might take on a loan to pay rent.
    But there aren't many decent tenants who will do the honourable thing.


    consider all of the joy that a CCJ will bring ?


    Seb. It will be a richly deserved ccj if they are too feckless and lazy to take the help on offer. I would hesitate to punish cases of genuine undeserved hardship but would enjoy punishing the feckless who didn't apply for such loans and thus sentence them to at least six years of poor credit ratings and corresponding inability to rent decent accommodation from clued up landlords. If they didn't clear their debts to me, including 8% interest then I would happily renew the ccj and their six year poor credit ratings would start all over again. Revenge served cold tastes all the sweeter!


    Robert, you are entitled to have your 'richly deserved CCJ' but then you got to stop moaning about the system ?

  • icon
    • 02 September 2020 20:27 PM

    Unfortunately based on bitter experience rarely does a CCJ result in successful recovery.

    Yes it could condemn recipients to a very poor credit history.

    This obviously has negative effects.
    But purely from a revenge perspective a LL may choose to apply a CCJ.

    That will be a further business loss.
    Many LL simply don't bother as indeed has been the case with me.
    The Civil Recovery process really is a disgrace so ineffective is it.


    Don't agree this time Paul mate, there is a lot more to this than just money, A CCJ may well not get you your money, but revenge is sweet and this scum must not be allowed to get away with it.

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    • 02 September 2020 22:57 PM


    Yep I get the revenge aspect.
    But knowing how ineffective even a CCJ is I doubt I would bother with a CCJ.

    To me it would just nean even more costs that a rent defaulting tenant has caused me
    Indeed I haven't bothered with a CCJ for 2 months of arrears for a now vacated tenant.

    Firstly I would need to trace him which costs a lot.
    I am not prepared to waste more resources on him.
    Frederico Dias a former and possibly now a working Ryanair pilot.
    Owes me over £2500.

    Promised he'd pay me like they all do; but of course one small payment then he stopped.

    My losses are just part of the £9 billion in losses that are mostly caused by rent defaulting tenants every year.

    I consider letting to tenants is no longer a viable business model if one has a BTL mortgage.

    Unencumbered LL obviously are more resilient to feckless tenants.

    BTL LL are very vulnerable to feckless tenants.
    A risk I am no longer prepared to tolerate.

    A shame for tenants as my selling up will remove more rental properties from availability.

    But there we are failures of Govt to enable LL to quickly repossess in event in particular of rent defaulting makes the business model no longer viable for me as an encumbered LL.

    I accept that there is little I can do about this.
    However I have to say I am really not that bothered about effectively being forced out of business by ridiculous Govt policies

    I will convert my capital into one hoped for 4 bed resi property which will be my technical PPR home.

    Need to investigate how PD rights might be used to increase the size of say a 3 bed property..

    The prices of 4 bed properties in the areas I desire I believe are out of reach for me.
    But certainly if unable to source a suitable property I will have to consider less suitable areas.

    But I have noticed that there are too many properties; rooms for rent.
    There is a massive supply over demand.
    This makes sourcing lodgers not an easy thing.

    When furloughing ends I believe there will be a massive shrinkage in demand.
    Even selling is difficult as there are too many properties for sale and again not enough demand from those that can afford them.
    All very gloomy!


    I would go after the pilot that owes you £2500 I think that would be worthwhile .


    I agree with Andrew. With a name and occupation like that it shouldn't be too difficult to trace him.

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    • 03 September 2020 22:47 PM

    As far as I am aware he ISN'T currently flying.
    I know his mate so am hoping to tease some info from him!
    We shall see!


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