At the end of June 2021, the Scottish Government announced a £10 million grant fund to support tenants who are struggling to pay their rent as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although further details have yet to be announced, it is expected that tenants who are in arrears will be eligible to apply for grant funding to assist in paying off either some or all of their arrears in order to sustain their tenancy.
This is of course great news for both tenants and landlords, who have so far worked well together to overcome financial difficulties brought about by the pandemic – a sentiment echoed by the Scottish Government in their statement published on 25th June 2021:
In responding to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, there are many examples of private landlords and letting agents who have gone further than ever before to engage with tenants as more people find themselves in difficulty for the first time because of Covid.
As the country comes out of lockdown it is our shared commitment to make sure that tenants in hardship because of Covid continue to get support to pay their rent and living expenses and we will continue to work together collectively to ensure this is done.
The £10 million grant funding announcement has been welcomed by a number of industry bodies who are hopeful this will assist those tenants (and therefore landlords) who have suffered financial difficulty, but for whom the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund didn’t go far enough to support.
However, there are some who say the Government are still missing the mark here, and not doing enough to support landlords too, especially given the extensions and changes to notice periods remain in place.
At Umega, we believe the best course of action is to do what we have always done and continue to assist any tenants who are having difficulty paying their rent by primarily working with the landlord to agree a mutually acceptable and reasonable plan of action which takes all parties’ needs into account.