Landlords have told government that while they welcome new cash help for student tenants, the rest of the lettings sector needs help too.
The government is giving an additional £50m to help students struggling financially during the pandemic - this goes well beyond £20m announced for the same purpose just before Christmas.
Universities minister Michelle Donelan has also requested that private landlords consider offering students partial refunds if they are unable to use their contracted accommodation because of Covid restrictions.
However, Ben Beadle - chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association - is less enthusiastic and says: “Whilst we welcome the news of further financial support, it begs the question why student renters are being treated differently to all others.
“Given students are continuing to receive maintenance loans alongside this new funding, ministers need to explain why the same support is not being provided to other renters struggling as a result of the pandemic.
“Our figures suggest that seven per cent of private renters have built arrears due to coronavirus whilst the government has admitted that private renters have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The Chancellor needs urgently to develop a package to help tenants pay off arrears built since lockdown measures started last March just as is happening for students. This is the only way that tenants and landlords can sustain tenancies and ensure renters do not face the damaging consequences of their credit scores being severely impacted.”