Thank you for contacting me about people renting during the outbreak of Covid-19.
I share your concern about protections for people renting during the outbreak of Covid-19. The guarantee of a home gives a peace of mind that is needed during this time. I welcome the news that a range of measures have been announced to protect people in the private and social rented sectors.
Emergency legislation is helping to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 for renters and landlords. I am glad that the Government is protecting people who are renting by suspending new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place. No new possession proceedings through applications to the court will start during the crisis.
I welcome the news that a new £500 million Hardship Fund has been announced that will provide economically vulnerable individuals with financial support. Most of this funding will be used to provide more Council Tax relief, either through existing Local Council Tax Support schemes, or through similar measures. Statutory Sick Pay is also now being paid from day one of being sick, rather than day four.
On 20 March the Chancellor further announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a UK-wide scheme to pay a grant to any business for each worker they identify as furloughed so that they can remain employed but not be expected to work. These grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month. Ministers aim to make it available before the end of April, and it will cover at least the next three months.
Offering support to landlords during this time is also important. Landlords will rightly be concerned about meeting mortgage payments, which could put pressure on their tenants. This is why I welcome the Government’s plans to extend the three-month mortgage payment holiday to buy-to-let landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties. At the end of this period, the Government say it expects that landlords and renters can work together to agree an affordable repayment plan, established with an understanding of the renter's circumstance and financial ability.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP
Member of Parliament
Hastings and Rye