What is being done to support people in the private rented sector?
The Mayor believes no one should lose their home as a result of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). He welcomes the measures announced so far, including emergency legislation to prevent evictions from social or most privately rented homes, the provision for a mortgage holiday for homeowners and landlords, and increases to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to cover 30% of market rents in each local market area. But these do not go far enough to protect tenants. The Mayor is calling on the Government to urgently implement ‘Triple Lock’ protection for renters:
- Immediately increase welfare support for renters, suspend the Benefit Cap, restore Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to median market rents, and cover any shortfall in rental payments of private tenants unable to pay them due to COVID-19 – including those with no recourse to public funds.
- Once the temporary suspension of court proceedings, prevent private landlords from evicting tenants who have accrued arrears as a result of COVID-19. This could be achieved by making section 8 (the arrears ground for eviction) discretionary in court proceedings.
- Scrap so-called ‘no fault’ section 21 evictions. This would prevent landlords evicting tenants affected by COVID-19 using this route as an alternative to the section 8 method.
Those with low or no incomes are often entitled to help with covering their rent through the benefits system. In particular, Universal Credit includes an allowance for help with housing costs. You can find more information about Universal Credit, including information on how to apply on the UK government website.
You can find out more about your rights on our renters’ rights page.