The National Residential Landlords Association wants the government to launch a ‘tenant hardship loan’, to prevent landlords from taking the brunt of the end of furlough.
This would be an interest-free government guaranteed loan to support the majority of tenants with COVID related rent debts who are not eligible for benefit support.
This scheme would help tenants to pay off their rent debts and would follow the introduction of similar schemes in Scotland and Wales.
The furlough scheme will expire at the end of September, alongside a £20 a week cut to Universal Credit – the NRLA added that this cut should not go ahead.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Many tenants and landlords have struggled to cope during the pandemic leaving them exposed to the impact of rent debts which they are unlikely to ever pay off.
“By ending furlough and cutting benefits in quick succession, and without the introduction of a targeted package to tackle COVID related rent debt, the government is worsening an already critical situation.
“Without transitional support, and as the country gets back to normal, the Chancellor will be turning his back on those renters and landlords in desperate need of help.”
The NRLA also raised concerns about the impact of a failure to tackle covid related rents debts will have on the credit scores of affected tenants.
The landlord association said the proportion of private renters in arrears tripled in the period from 2019/20 to the end of 2020 from 3 to 9%.
In June the government admitted that landlords “are highly vulnerable to rent arrears”.