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Scottish government announces grant for tenants in rent arrears - what do landlords need to know?

Thu 14 Oct 2021

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, governments across the UK introduced a variety of measures to help tenants in the rental sector.

A year on from the peak of the pandemic, the Scottish Government has now announced a grant for tenants in rent arrears. Scottish landlords who have tenants with rent arrears might want to know how they can recoup some of their losses, and this new grant could be a big help.

Here at Letting Solutions, we are an experienced letting agent based in West Lothian who can help landlords with renting out and managing their tenancy

Overview of the funding

On June 23 2021, the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, announced the Scottish Government’s plans to launch a £10 million grant fund to help private and social rented tenants who have incurred rent arrears due to the pandemic. On September 27, it confirmed these proposals.

The aim of the grants is to help tenants who have been financially affected by the pandemic and cannot keep up with their rent payments – the grant will help to lower or pay off their rent arrears. The grant will be available to tenants in both the private and social rented sectors.

The grant is part of a package of measures available to local councils to tackle homelessness, alongside Discretionary Housing Payments and advice on maximising income. The grants also come in addition to the Scottish Government’s £10 million Tenant Hardship Loan Fund.

Scottish Housing Secretary Shona Robison commented: “We have been doing all we can to support tenants who are struggling as a result of the pandemic, and this latest funding takes our total housing support to almost £39 million. These grants will support tenants and landlords who are willing to work together to address rent arrears and agree a repayment plan to ensure the tenant is able to avoid eviction.”

Nina Ballantyne, Citizens Advice Scotland Social Justice spokesperson, said: “The Citizens Advice network saw a real spike in demand for housing-related advice during the pandemic. Our analysis suggests almost 300,000 people in Scotland missed a housing payment last year because they ran out of money before payday.

Ballantyne continued: “We called for more support for tenants and are delighted to see this fund launch – we’d now encourage people to seek advice on what support is right for them and make use of all the options available.”

How the funding will work

The funding will work by the Scottish government providing a one-off allocation of funds to each local authority in Scotland, based on a distribution agreement with The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA.) The grant funding will be available until the end of March 2022.

Landlords and tenants will not have to apply to use the grant funding, local authorities will use their discretion to decide whether a grant payment is suitable for an individual based on their circumstances.

 

 

Here at Letting Solutions, West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we are continuing to operate throughout the pandemic and doing all we can to help landlords and tenants create mutually beneficial tenancies.

You can find out more about our current hours of service and our current ways of working here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, even if you are not a current client. You can ring us on 01506 496006 where our team are waiting to help. Or you can email us at: rent@letting-solutions.co.uk

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