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The Government has ruled out introducing rent holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crossbench peer Lord Taylor of Warwick had posed a written parliamentary question asking the Government if there were any plans to issue a rent break for tenants affected by the coronavirus as part of its package of measures amid the virus outbreak.

But responding on the Government’s behalf in the House of Lords, Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist, appeared to rule this out.

She said: “Emergency legislation has been taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period.

“As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation need to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

“As such, the Government does not believe a ‘rent holiday’ is necessary at this stage.”

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has backed the Government’s stance, adding that the buy-to-let payment breaks on offer to landlords should also benefit tenants as it should only be used where renters are having trouble making payments.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, told EYE: “The Government has been clear.

“The buy-to-let mortgage holiday is not a green light to all tenants not to pay their rent.

“It enables landlords to provide flexibility where tenants are genuinely struggling to pay their rent as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“A comprehensive package of measures has been put in place to support incomes, including increasing the Local Housing Allowance and the Universal Credit standard allowance to support tenants to continue paying their rent.

“This should be accessed as much as possible before any talk of deferring rent payments.”

By MARC SHOFFMAN

Source: Property Industry Eye

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