Shelter and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) have appeared on BBC R4’s You & Yours programme, making a united call for the government to support landlords and tenants during the pandemic.
While the organisation and charity don’t always see eye-to-eye, they’re both demanding financial support to help tenants clear Covid-related arrears.
On the programme, they responded to Ian’s story, a tenant from Worthing interviewed about his £2,700 debt, who has been served with a notice to quit.
After losing his job in events last March, Ian admitted that he’d had different conversations with his landlord and letting agent.
“The landlord tried to give me some assurance that if I managed to get up to date with rent by April then he may reconsider moving forward with the eviction process,” said Ian.
“However, the lettings agent was more hard-faced – they want the money paid immediately which is not possible when you can’t work.”
The NRLA’s deputy director of campaigns, public affairs and policy, Meera Chindooroy (pictured, above) explained to listeners that most landlords who have faced a reduction in rent due to the pandemic had covered losses from their own savings – but that the situation wasn’t sustainable.
“Government support hasn’t reached landlords – they haven’t been eligible for Bounce Back Loans or self-employment support,” said Chindooroy.
“We are calling for the government to provide financial support for landlords and tenants to help to sustain tenancies in the long term.”
Shelter’s policy manager Ruth Ehrlich (pictured) agreed that most tenants and landlords were trying to do all they could to work through the crisis.
She added: “We completely agree that the government now needs to step in to help renters like Ian to clear his arrears. It’s not right that right now, when the virus is running rampant, that people are losing their homes.”