Tenant hardship grant and loan funds

Posted: 17th March 2022

The Scottish Government has introduced a grant fund to help tenants with rent arrears. This supports tenants whose income went down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money does not need to be repaid.

It is for people who rent from:

  • – a private landlord
    – a letting agent
    – a housing association or housing co-operative
    – the council

About the grant

The grant can pay for rent arrears between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021. It is a one off payment. The money is paid directly to your landlord so that any benefits you receive are not affected.

You can apply for a grant until 31 March 2022.

How to apply for the grant

The fund is paid by your local council. The council will decide if the grant fund is right for your circumstances. They can pay off some or all of your arrears. If the grant only covers some of the money you owe, the council should work with you and your landlord. They should help you to agree a repayment plan with your landlord so that you can pay off the rest. If the council do not think the grant fund is right for you, they should offer you alternatives, such as:

  • – making an affordable repayment plan with your landlord
  • – where to get advice on benefits
  • – what other funds could help you, such as the loan fund or the discretionary housing payment

 

Contact your local council’s housing department to apply for the grant fund.

Protection against eviction

Your landlord will have to agree not to evict you over your current rent arrears if you are to receive the grant money.

If you get into further rent arrears after receiving the grant, this agreement will no longer apply.

Alternatives to the grant

If you contact the council and they do not award you the grant, you could:

  • – speak to a money and debt adviser who can help you manage your finances
  • – apply for benefits, such as universal credit
  • – apply for the discretionary housing payment if you are eligible for certain benefits
  • – apply for the tenant hardship loan fund

About the loan fund

The Scottish Government introduced a loan fund to help people pay off rent arrears. This fund closed to new applications on 31 December 2021. Any applications received before the deadline will still be processed.

If you were awarded a loan, you should continue to pay it back.

The loan was either paid:

  • – to your landlord
  • – directly to you

 

If the money was paid to you, you will need to show the loan fund evidence that the money was then paid to your landlord.

Protection from eviction

If you have a private landlord, they must agree not to evict you as a condition of the loan. If they have already started the eviction process, they must agree to stop.

This applies when their reason for evicting you is:

  • – rent arrears
  • – where the landlord or a family member intends to move in
  • – the landlord intends to sell the property
  • – the landlord intends to use the property for any other purpose than housing

 

Back to News & events