Rents: Arrears

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 2nd June 2020.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of value of rent arrears outstanding in (a) Leeds, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the UK as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Department does not routinely collect information on the value of rent arrears.

Emergency legislation is now in place so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict their tenants for at least a three-month period. The courts have also suspended housing possession proceedings. As a result of these measures, no tenant in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction during this time.

In addition, the Government has introduced an unprecedented financial support package to help renters continue to pay their living costs, including rent. This includes support for businesses to pay staff salaries, strengthening the welfare safety-net with a £7 billion boost to Universal Credit, and increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents in each area.

For renters who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments are also available. As announced at the spending round for 2020/21, there is already £180 million in Discretionary Housing Payments for local authorities to distribute for supporting renters with housing costs in the private and social rented sectors.

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