Aim of fund is to ensure that no tenant loses their home during the pandemic and is being offered to landlords with smaller property portfolios who’ve lost rental income.

The Scottish Government is to help hard-pushed landlords by offering them interest-free loans from a new £5 million fund.

Eligible private sector landlords can get up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property from the Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme if their tenants are having difficulty paying rent during the crisis.

Those who aren’t classified as businesses, have five or fewer properties to rent and have lost rental income can apply once they’ve reached an agreement with their tenant on managing arrears.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart (pictured) says it wants to ensure no-one loses their home during the pandemic, which is why it passed legislation to protect tenants against eviction for six months.

“This new £5 million loan fund builds on that action and offers landlords the same security as tenants, ensuring they have financial support if tenants struggle to pay rent because of coronavirus,” he says.

Financial pressure

“While all tenants should pay their rent if they can, we recognise the financial pressure people are facing.

“The Scottish Government encourages landlords to talk to their tenants about rent payment issues. We also expect landlords to be as flexible as possible with their tenants, discuss managing rental payments and help them find sources of financial support and advice.” 

Chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, John Blackwood, adds: “Collectively the housing sector needs an approach that protects all parts of housing in Scotland to guarantee we can provide the different types of quality housing we need. 

“We want to continue to work with the government, as well as other public bodies, trade bodies and charities to ensure we achieve that and hope there will be further steps taken soon.”

Landlords facing difficulties with repayments on a mortgage are expected to ask for a mortgage repayment holiday from their lender before they apply for one of the loans.

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