The Scottish Government is making £10m available to tenants and landlords in the private and social sectors to help clear rent arrears.
The Tenant Grant Hardship Fund is aimed at supporting people directly affected financially by the Covid 19 pandemic. It covers the period between March 2020 and 9 August 2021. Grants don’t need repaid and will cover up to 12 months’ rent. The Scheme is open until the end of March 2022.
The aim of the scheme is to help vulnerable households in danger of homelessness due to their income being reduced during the pandemic. Landlords must have taken certain steps to help their tenants, known as the Pre-Action Requirements, before they can apply to the fund on behalf of a tenant. Priority will be given to those facing eviction.
It is a one-off payment and money is paid directly to the landlord, so any benefits being received should not be affected.
Confusingly, there is no application process for a tenant or landlord to use to access the grant funding. The Scottish Government have said: “There is no application process for a tenant or landlord to use for the grant funding. Instead local authorities will use their discretion to determine whether a grant payment is appropriate in individual circumstances.” That leaves it very unclear how tenants or landlords can apply.
Some local authorities have helpfully made application forms available. The local authority will consider applications and decide the way forward, possibly paying off part or all of the arrears
If you think you qualify and could benefit from the grant, you should speak to your local authority housing department in the first instance (Glasgow City Council – Housing & Regeneration Services - 0141 287 9158), or your housing officer/landlord/letting agency.
Always seek legal as well as financial advice if you have rent arrears. Call any of our offices via 0141
634 0313 for help.