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Further financial support for student renters ‘begs the question why student renters are being treated differently to all others’, said the National Residential Landlords Association this week.
A £50m support package has been announced by Universities Minister Michelle Donelan. This is in addition to the £20m package announced in December.
The money is to go to universities so they can help students, including those struggling with their rent.
‘The Government also welcomes the decision from many universities and accommodation providers to offer rent rebates for students who need to stay away from their term-time address, and encourages others to join them and offer students partial refunds’, said Donelan. ‘It asks all providers of student accommodation including universities, to make sure their rental policies have students’ best interests at heart and are communicated clearly’.
But, given students are continuing to receive maintenance loans alongside this new funding, Ministers need to explain why the same support is not being provided to other renters struggling as a result of the pandemic, said NRLA in response to the announcement.
‘Our figures suggest that 7 per cent of private renters have built arrears due to coronavirus whilst the Government has admitted that private renters have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
‘The Chancellor needs urgently to develop a package to help tenants pay off arrears built since lockdown measures started last March just as is happening for students. This is the only way that tenants and landlords can sustain tenancies and ensure renters do not face the damaging consequences of their credit scores being severely impacted’.