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Wales’ Tenancy Hardship Scheme much needed, and now

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There has been a ‘rent arrears crisis’ in Wales throughout the first half of 2021, the National Residential Landlords Association has concluded.

Research findings suggest that a significant number of Welsh landlords experienced rent arrears over the course of the last year and that the incident of rent arrears is now a fifth higher in Wales that in England.

Surveys of English and Welsh landlords, conducted for the NRLA by BVA/BDRC, found that in the first two quarters of 2021, 42 per cent of those with property in Wales reported rent arrears problem. This compared to 35 per cent of those with property in England. 

‘However, our Q2 figures also show a growing optimism on the part of Welsh landlords. Our findings indicate that the Welsh private rented sector is experiencing the highest perceived level of tenant demand across all regions surveyed in Q2 2021. More than half (52 per cent) of respondents confirmed that they have seen this trend over the course of the past quarter’, reported NRLA.

‘It is troubling that rent arrears appear to be a more significant issue for households in Wales, despite the recent announcement of the Tenancy Hardship Grant’, said NRLA policy director Chris Norris.

‘These figures illustrate that the scheme must be implemented as quickly and effectively as possible to prevent Wales’ rent debt crisis from worsening and threatening homes.

‘We urge Wales’ private landlords to make their tenants aware of the grant and call on the Welsh Government to inform all stakeholders across the private rented sector of the fact this financial assistance measure is now available’.