Thank you for contacting me about support for renters.
I appreciate that the past year has brought unique challenges to renters and those in the residential rental sector. That is why I am relieved that decisive action was taken to protect those in both the private and social rented sectors, and this has provided thousands of households throughout England with the certainty they needed during unprecedented times.
Support was put in place through a pause in evictions in all but the most egregious cases, such as anti-social behaviour, and requirements for six months’ notice to be given. As we emerge from the worst of the crisis, a four-month notice period is in place until 30 September for non-egregious cases to offer continued protection for tenants. As of 1 August, the notice period is two months for cases where there are less than four months of unpaid rent.
I recognise the concerns that renters may have now that the eviction moratorium has been lifted and notice periods will shortly be returning to pre-pandemic levels. That is why I am pleased that the Government has stepped in to provide extensive financial support to renters, with £140 million in funding available this year through Discretionary Housing Payments for councils to support renters with housing costs. This builds on wider support in place to help households with other costs, such as the £670 million that is available for 2021-22 to help those struggling to pay council tax.
Billions have been injected into the welfare system, including increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance for a further six months until the end of September. The Government's package of financial support has helped to save lives and livelihoods, kept businesses running and assisted those who are struggling the most.
It is very important that landlords and renters continue to work together to agree on affordable repayment plans, established with an understanding of the renter's financial circumstances, and raise potential issues at the earliest opportunity.
I am therefore assured that, building on the substantial support provided throughout the pandemic, the Government is continuing to work to deliver a fairer and more effective rental market.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this issue.
Sally-Ann Hart MP