Number of private renters in arrears doubles due to Covid-19 | News

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Number of private renters in arrears doubles due to Covid-19

The number of private renters in England with rent arrears has doubled since lockdown, Shelter are warning.

In new findings, the charity say 226,785 are now estimated to be in arrears despite having been up to date in March, out of a total of 442,403.

Shelter are calling for urgent changes before many people are made homeless when the eviction ban runs out on August 23. 

A Shelter poll of 1,058 private renters in England conducted by YouGov estimated 442,403 of the country's 8.7m renters - roughly 5% - were in arrears in early June.

Of them, 226,785 said they were up to date with payments in March..

Of those who had contact with their landlord or letting agent since March, around 6% said they had been threatened with eviction.

Mental health was also an issue for respondents, with around a third feeling more depressed and anxious about their housing situation, with 30% experiencing sleepless nights.

Shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire said: "The government seems to be more interested in protecting landlords' incomes than preventing families from losing their homes in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

"Rough sleeping had more than doubled under the Tories before coronavirus.

"If we go back to business as usual, many thousands of people will find themselves sleeping on the streets this winter."

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government responded to the survey results by saying they had taken unprecented actions to protect renters during Covid-19.

 

HQN's Rent Income Excellence Network is the key place to be for all things rent arrears and welfare. With exclusive briefings and support, find out more about joining up.