Landlords renting out homes in Wales can help their tenants apply for loans to pay off rent arrears that have built up during the coronavirus lockdown.

The £8 million Tenant Saver Loan Scheme will open in September for renters with the money paid direct to landlord or letting agents.

The Welsh Government says the scheme is to help tenants pay their rents if they do not qualify for housing benefits but have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The loan package is part of a wider £50 million program to avoid homelessness due to the impact of coronavirus.

Other measures include a stay on evictions and providing accommodation for the homeless.

 Julie James, the Welsh Government Minister for Housing and Local Government, said: “The coronavirus has shone a light on housing in a way that few of us have seen before and reminded us all of the fundamental importance of good-quality affordable housing, a safe and secure home and strong and cohesive communities where people want to live and work. The best way we can tackle homelessness is by preventing it in the first place.

“To that end I have increased the overall homelessness funding to up to £50 million, which clearly demonstrates the level of commitment we have to ensuring we can make a truly significant and transformational step-change towards achieving our goal of ending homelessness in Wales. “

Who can apply for a tenant loan?

Any private renter qualifies for the Tenant Saver Loan Scheme who has incurred arrears since March 1 due to the impact of coronavirus, including tenants who are potentially facing financial difficulties paying their rents.

What are the repayments?

The Welsh Government insists that loan repayments must be affordable for tenants and has set the interest rate at 1% over a maximum term of five years.

How do tenants make a loan application?

The tenant will need to show financial hardship and the landlord must confirm the rent due or in arrears.

Tenants must also show that they can afford the loan repayments.

On approval, the money is paid to a landlord or letting agent.

How much can tenants borrow?

The is no limit on the borrowing, but tenants must prove they can afford the loan repayments.

Must tenants apply for a loan if they are in arrears?

No. Private tenants and landlords can agree a repayment package and the landlord can apply for a mortgage repayment holiday without making any application to the Welsh Government.

Can tenants on benefits apply for a Tenant Saver Loan?

The finer details of the scheme are awaited from the Welsh Government, but it appears tenants claiming benefits should apply for a discretionary housing payment from the local authority rather than look to borrow under the Tenant Saver Loan scheme.

What if a tenant has pre-lockdown arrears?

The Welsh Government is only backdating the borrowing to cover arrears incurred since March 1.