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Tenant hardship loan fund portal is now live

Tuesday 01 December 2020

The Scottish Government’s £10 million tenant hardship loan fund is due to open for applications on 7 December 2020 and its online portal, which provides details of the fund, is now live.

The fund will offer loans to tenants in both the private rented and social sectors who are having trouble paying their rent because of the impacts of COVID-19.

As the fund is aimed at helping tenants who have suffered financially due to the pandemic, the interest-free loan is only available to clear rent arrears that have arisen since 1 January 2020 and/or are being used to pay a maximum of three future months’ rent payments. Only a maximum of nine months in total may be applied for.

Applicants for the loan will be required to pass an affordability and credit check before being offered a loan as well as confirming they were not in arrears prior to 1 January 2020.

The Energy Savings Trust, who will be delivering the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government, will seek confirmation on the level of any arrears that are being applied for to ensure that funds are only used to pay registered landlords and will contact the landlords of the applicants for verification.

Repayments of the loan will be deferred for six months following payment of the loan and will be expected to be repaid within six monthly instalments, but it can be paid fully at any point.

With the Pre-Action Requirements for rent arrears having recently been introduced, which requires agents and landlords to signpost the availability of financial support to tenants, and evidence they have done so before the Tribunal will issue a possession order, both agents and landlords should keep in mind the availability of the loan and ensure tenants are informed of any potential financial support source.

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