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Taxpayers should pay Covid tenant rent arrears, say councils

The umbrella group representing London councils wants the government to use taxpayer money to help private tenants with Covid-related arrears.

The call comes in a wide ranging set of demands made by the group - known as London Councils - ahead of next weekend’s eventual end to the current eviction ban.

The group says there’s a “triple whammy” of upcoming risks. These are firstly high unemployment and rent arrears, secondly the end of the eviction ban on May 31, and finally uncertainty over homelessness funding.


A spokesperson for the group says: “Even though the Covid-19 situation is gradually improving, there’s a very real risk of London’s homelessness crisis getting even worse.

“In the coming months we can expect a triple whammy of continuing job losses in the capital, the imminent lifting of the evictions ban, and uncertainty over future funding levels for local homelessness services.

“Boroughs are doing everything we can to tackle homelessness in the capital, but ultimately we need the government to rethink its welfare policies and to boost long-term funding for local services if we’re to reverse these disastrous trends.”

The London Councils group also wants the government to end the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments to begin; make sure Local Housing Allowance continues to match the cost of renting in London; and give councils more cash for social housing.

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  • George Dawes

    Another option is to downsize councils dramatically , say by 99.9 %.

    Doubt anyone would notice the difference

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    A loan system through the Councils is the way forward. It can be recovered in the following years Council taxes and the loans should be portable if tenant moves to another Council. No issue with centrally funded as again can be recouped. NO WAY SHOULD ARREARS BE WRITTEN OFF


    Forcing people who were PREVENTED from earning a living by the government into debt. Now sadly, the only way out is for the country (that's all of us taxpayers) to pick up the tab.


    Yes I agree Andy unless the tenant can categorically prove they didn't get furlough money (which is going to be 'tax money') The ones that cant should pay immediately



    You're obviously in favour of a communist managed economy, which has been proven to fail.

    No one, other than the market, has decided property prices and by definition, they must be affordable otherwise they would not be bought and prices would fall to the correct free market level.

  • James B

    Or maybe join the dots and admit the war on landlords is backfiring with rising rents and reducing supply .. it may be a great vote winner to nail landlords to the wall but isn’t helping tenants shame they can’t see it


    Completely crazy to on one hand allow property prices to continue to rise way above affordability, whilst at the same time trying to drive the buy-to-let business into bankruptcy. As per usual this facist-conservative government has no idea what it is doing (Same as increasing road tax on lower emitting desiels whilst cutting the subsidy on electric vehicles and keeping high polluting vehicle road tax the same!)



    I actually agree with your second point this time!

    Has someone sensible hacked to use your I'd on this post?

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    Julian - Good points raised. My only issue is the government direction was aimed at everyone tenants & home owners. Majority got given furlough money - They should have paid their rent. Those that didn't receive this should get the council loan system payable over many years & recovered through council tax, wages etc. Its good you see that attacking the LL only results in pain for the tenant of which we get the resentment. As for fascist-conservative I see it as more socialist-conservative proving that there is very little difference deep down

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    Not sure it’s all to do with the Conservative government... we have it much worse in Scotland with 4% LGBT, stricter regulations on LL and we have primarily an SNP government! Watch what you wish for guys



    I doubt that the SNP would impose an LBGT penalty, although I personally wouldn't disapprove of such a thing!

    I suspect your auto correct changed LBTT, which is what the SNP now call Stamp Duty - just to be different! To clarify, it's an extra 4% penalty on top of rates already higher than those Stamp Duty rates in the rest of the UK.

    On the bright side, I've seen 30% rent rises in 2004 when Scotland imposed £2000 licences and over £3000 typical costs for fire doors, alarms etc. on all homes rented to more than 2 unrelated adults, and a further 30% hike in 2017 when the new anti prs legislation came into force.

    These dogma-inspired "reforms" followed about 15 years when rents had hardly moved, with capital growth being the main reward for property owners. We now enjoy above inflation capital growth and healthy demand for rented accommodation pushing up market rents.

    The Tories are probably bigger threats to Landlords than any of the loony lefty lot who only end up hurting decent tenants. Tenants should vote Tory to avoid being harmed further but I have no idea who Landlords should vote for now!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Govt should have paid it from the outset, or else NOT withdrawn the legal process from landlords. The need to provide social welfare is a long established practice, so why this stigma about part of the funding going to ' private landlords.

    Its because the Councils and Govt haven't been building the Council houses in the first place !


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