No tenant should be evicted because they have suffered financial hardship due to Covid-19 and landlords should be flexible with tenants facing financial hardship and signpost them to the sources of financial support available.
Tenants will still need to pay their rent and measures have been put in place to help people who are facing financial difficulties because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
To support tenants, the Tenant Hardship Loan will be available to assist tenants having trouble paying their rent because of the impacts of COVID-19
General guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for private tenants can be found here -
The Tenant Hardship Loan will provide short-term support for tenants who are having difficulty paying rent because of the impacts of COVID-19.
The interest free loan is available for private and social sector tenants who:
Only one loan will be available per tenancy agreement, with the exception of instances where there is a single tenancy agreement for a property with multiple individual occupants, such as a HMO let.
Tenants can only apply for a loan on one occasion and will not be permitted to make multiple applications.
Applications must be completed and submitted by the person named in the tenancy agreement as the tenant.
Tenants can apply even if they are eligible for other forms of support.
The loan scheme funding may be used to,
Tenants can apply if they have existing arrears that pre-date 01 January 2020. However this loan can only be used to pay rent arrears that have accrued after 01 January 2020.
Tenants can apply for a loan to cover rent payments as per their tenancy agreement for a period of up to 9 months in total. However, tenants cannot apply for more than 3 months of future rent payments.
To confirm the level of any arrears and to also ensure that funds are only used to pay registered landlords, the Energy Saving Trust will contact the landlords of the applicants to for verification.
Applicants will need to pass an affordability check and a credit check before being offered a loan.
If a loan application is successful, applicants will be given the option to have the loan paid directly to their landlord. If an applicant does not wish to have the loan paid directly to their landlord, they will be required to pay it to their landlord within a stated timescale and provide evidence to us that they have done so. Failure to provide such evidence will result in the loan funds being re-claimed.
Loan repayments will be deferred for 6 months following payment of the loan, with the loan being repaid in 60 monthly instalments. The loan can be fully repaid at any point.
Repayments will be taken monthly over a period of 5 years as standard.
There is a zero (0%) interest rate and no administrative fee for this loan.
The loan may not be suitable for all tenants and where a tenant is eligible for other forms of non-repayable support - for example Discretionary Housing Payment – then they should take these up rather than apply for this loan. We would urge anyone experiencing difficulty paying their rent to seek advice on what support may be available before applying for the loan.