Scottish Tenant Hardship Fund begins taking applications

A £10 million fund has been made available, as interest-free loans, to tenants who are struggling with rent arrears due to Covid-19.;
Applications Open

A £10 million fund has been made available, as interest-free loans, to tenants who are struggling with rent arrears due to Covid-19.

The Scottish government has announced that applications are open for their long-awaited scheme, as of the 7th of December.

What can the loan be used for?

Tenants can apply if they have had their finances or employment impacted by coronavirus and do not have access to other means of housing support.

These loans are intended to be a short-term solution, to assist tenants with paying off their rent arrears and get them back into being able to keep up with rent payments.

The loan can be used to pay off arrears that have accumulated since the 1st of January 2020, or to pay future instalments of rent, up to a maximum of 9 months.

Tenants who have arrears pre-dating the 1st of January 2020 will not be eligible for this loan.

Loan assessments

The Tenant Hardship Loans are subject to affordability assessments, which will take a view of the financial position of the applicant.

To confirm levels of arrears, the loan administrator will contact the applicant’s landlord or letting agent.

The tenant’s incomings and outgoings are also taken into account, as well as whether they have enough surplus income, to keep up with loan repayments.

These measures reflect the Scottish Government’s commitment to responsible lending.

Available support

The Tenant Hardship Fund is part of a range of support that the Scottish government has introduced this year.

Other support includes:

  • Extended notice periods within the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act.
  • Increases to Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)
  • Introduction of private landlord pre-action requirements
  • Interest-free loans for landlords

Kevin Stewart, Housing Minister, commented:

“There is no single solution to the difficulties being experienced as a result of the impacts of the pandemic in Scotland, and the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund is a part of a broader effort to support those who are affected.

“We want people to access the most appropriate form of financial support. For the majority of tenants facing financial difficulties and arrears, the best means of support is regular non-repayable support, for example through Universal Credit and Discretionary Housing Payments.

“However, for those who may fall through the gap and are unable to claim such support, or who might be thinking of borrowing, this new Fund will be a helping hand to manage any rent issues that have arisen in the last few months as a result of the impact of COVID-19.”

More information and how to apply

Click here to learn more about the Scottish Tenant Hardship fund.

Click here to apply for a Tenant Hardship Loan.

Rest of the UK

Wales have their own “Tenancy Saver Loan” scheme, which launched in October and gives tenants struggling with rent arrears access to £8 million.

England does not have a loan scheme in place, at the time of writing.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.