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Rent increases are allowed during coronavirus crisis

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Written by: Owain Thomas
23/04/2020
Landlords are allowed to increase rents during the coronavirus crisis, the government has confirmed.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher stated a ban on rent rises was not being considered and there were already operations in place to support renters during the present situation.

Pincher was responding to a written question from Labour MP for Huddersfield Barry Sheerman who asked if a ban on rent increases would be considered for social and private rented housing.

Pincher said: “The government have no plans to ban rent increases during the Covid-19 outbreak as we have already announced extensive measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus.

“Through the Coronavirus Act 2020, we have introduced legislation to delay when landlords are able to evict tenants.”

Tenants remain liable

He continued: “All tenants remain liable for their rent and those who can afford to should continue to pay it.

“At the end of this period, if arrears have built up, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account the tenants’ individual circumstances.

“For tenants in social housing, landlords will continue to work closely with residents to help them manage their rent and ensure they can access all benefits they are entitled to.”

He also cited income support packages and Universal Credit, along with income tax, VAT deferrals and increasing local housing allowance rates.

“These significant financial measures will help to support tenants to continue to pay their living costs, including rental payments.

“We have also extended the three-month mortgage payment holiday to landlords with buy-to-let mortgages whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus,” he added.

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