01 Jul 2020

Generation Rent has been criticised for claiming that homelessness could treble this year unless the government acts to help private renters.

The analysis it has produced today wrongly assumes that landlords are doing nothing to support tenants to stay in their homes where rent arrears are building, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). 

Independent polling by research firm, Dynata of more than 2,000 tenants across England and Wales, on behalf of the landlords association, found that 90% have been able to pay their rent as usual since the coronavirus crisis began. 

Some 82% had not needed to ask their landlord for any support. Of those that did ask, three quarters received a positive response. 

The NRLA argues that this shows that concerns over a spike in evictions once the current ban is lifted are unfounded.

The same polling, conducted by Dynata, reveals that 3% of tenants said that whilst they previously had no rent arrears, they have had to reduce the amount they pay in rent since the Covid-19 outbreak began. Just 1% of such tenants with no rent arrears prior to the pandemic said they had stopped paying their rent altogether. 

A further 1% said that they had rent arrears building prior to lockdown, which have continued to increase.

Chris Norris, policy director for the NRLA, commented: “Our survey reflects what we know from our members, which is that nearly all are seeking to support tenants to stay in their homes. 

“Given that some 30% of landlords have reported facing some level of financial hardship, they will do all they can to sustain tenancies.  

“That said we do support calls to boost the finances available to tenants who are struggling to pay their rent, especially as the furlough scheme begins to wind down. This should include ensuring that benefits cover the cost of rents.”

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