The Scottish government has extended two loan schemes to give struggling tenants and private landlords with Covid-related financial problems more breathing space. This follows a simultaneous decision to extend the country’s evictions ban until the end of September.
They can now apply for a Tenant Hardship Loan Fund or Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme, both of which offer interest-free loans, beyond the original deadline of 31st March.
This follows the Scottish government’s announcement that it is extending the ban on the enforcement of eviction orders until the end of this month, and is a strong indication that a further evictions extension is likely. As LandlordZONE reported on Monday, rumours are already flying within the property industry that this is likely to happen.
The tenant fund is designed for those who have no other means of housing support. Loans are available up to a maximum of nine months’ rent, for arrears built up since 1st January 2020 and can include up to three months of future rent payments.
The landlord scheme offers eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for up to three properties. It helps those who are not classified as businesses, have five or fewer properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants being unable to pay rent as a result of the pandemic. Applications for both can be completed online.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart (main pic) says that throughout the pandemic its focus has been on enabling people to stay safe in their homes.
“These schemes have provided vital support”, he says: “For the majority of tenants facing financial difficulties and arrears the best means of support continues to be regular non-repayable support, for example through Universal Credit and Discretionary Housing Payments.
“However, for those who may fall through the gap and are unable to claim such support, these funds offer a helping hand to manage any rent issues that have arisen in the last few months as a result of Covid-19.”