Lots of articles this week on rent arrears – probably the single biggest debt problem facing the country.
The looming rent arrears crisis
- Coronavirus: Private renters need more help to ‘ride out crisis’ BBC: Almost half a million people are at “high risk” of homelessness, according to 187 local councils across England.
The government proposal:
- Optimism of the will, pessimism of the intellect Nearly Legal blog: Giles Peaker points out the complete inadequacy of the government’s proposal to introduce another pre-action protocol “this will do nothing to avoid the cliff edge of possession claims that seem very likely”.
- Why the government’s added protections for renters won’t work New Statesman: The coronavirus pandemic has underlined the importance of a safe and secure home, but millions are at risk of losing theirs.
- Thousands of renters could be evicted in June. Will the government protect them? Guardian: The coronavirus-related freeze on evictions is ending – and the new ‘pre-action protocol’ relies on the kindness of landlords.
- Emergency action needed to protect renters Labour Party press release.
- A five point plan Nearly Legal: blog by a barrister who had some input to the Labout plan: Addresses criticism of allowing renters 2 years to repay arrears.
- Starmer housing plan is worse than Tory plan and is extremely dangerous nonsense Blog from a housing consultant.
Othe debt news
- Mortgage holidays: a break is tempting, but it will cost you Guardian: Useful article with practical examples.
- NatWest withdraws debt consolidation for mortgage holiday borrowers Mortgagesolutions.co.uk: The lender will consider applications for debt consolidation when customers have made at least one payment following any payment holiday.
- “I’ve been left high and dry by RBS’s forgotten mortgage scandal” Mail: I asked why the bank seems to be laying down a rule for its customers to keep records longer than the bank itself is legally required to keep records. Again, it refused to say.
Coronavirus: Number of people seeking benefits and debt help soars in outbreak Mirror: Citizens Advice recorded 8million views of its website from mid March – while Turn2Us saw a 438% rise in people using a benefits calculator.
Banks face £25bn loan default bill Times (paywall): Huge uncertainty over scale of pandemic losses.
Virgin Money apologises and U-turns on credit card spending blocks Guardian: Decision reversed and previous credit limits reinstated for affected customers.
Benefits & other news
High court ruling over “No recourse to public funds” delivers further blow to Home Office’s discredited hostile environment policy DPG (solicitors for the claimant): An 8-year-old British boy – supported by his migrant mother – has today won a ruling that the policy denying families like his access to the welfare safety net is unlawful.
Online gambling ad impressions almost triple during lockdown Campaign (advertising blog): UK was among top 10 countries for paid gambling ads online last month.
Half of UK parents with young children face money woes – survey Guardian: Parents twice as likely as those without children to say they will struggle for money as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
DWP to end benefit payments to Post Office card accounts PublicTechnology.net: The Department for Work and Pensions will no longer allow new benefits or pensions recipients from collecting payments via Post Office card accounts as of next week, as the department prepares to phase out its use of the payment system entirely next year.