Tenant Hardship Loan Fund Change to Eligibility Criteria
Date Posted: 22nd of January 2021
The Tenant Hardship Loan Fund launched by the Scottish Governement in December 2020 is intended to support tenants who have built up arrears as a result of the impact of the pandemic. The eligibility criteria only allowed applications from tenants where the arrears were after 1 January 2020 and excluded any applicant where arrears had accrued over non-consecutive periods.
Since the loan fund became operational has become clear to the Scottish Governement that there are some tenants with arrears before 1 January 2020 who may benefit from the loan. The loan fund has also received a number of applications seeking support to cover non-consecutive periods of rent arrears. These appear to be for a number of reasons (for example lost job in first lock-down, successfully found alternative employment, lost job again as restrictions re-introduced). In light of this and the ongoing difficulties caused by the further restrictions necessary to control the spread of the virus the Scottish Governement have extended the eligability criteria as follows:
- Pre-Covid arrears - applications will now be allowed from tenants with arrears prior to the 1st January 2020, however, the amount of loan will only cover the amount of arrears that have occurred after the original cut-off date (1 January 2020). The total amount of loan available remains up to a maximum of 9 months agreed rent.
- Non-consecutive arrears – applications will now be allowed from those who have non-consecutive arrears.
Where applicants had submitted an application which included pre-Covid or non-consecutive arrears these applications would not have proceeded due to the eligibility criteria at that time. The Government loan administrators are now contacting these applicants to let them know of the change and that the original application will now proceed.
Please note, all applications remain subject to verification by the landlord, the ability to repay and a credit score check.