In a joint statement, the industry has demanded that the Chancellor address the rent debt crisis.

Those involved within the joint statement include: The Big Issue Ride Out Recession Alliance, Crisis, Citizens Advice, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Money Advice Trust, The Mortgage Works, National Residential Landlords Association, Nationwide Building Society, Propertymark, StepChange Debt Charity and Shelter.

According to those who contributed to the statement, at least half a million private renters are in arrears due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

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Government data shows that private renters have been affected the worst by the pandemic.

As a result, the above listed companies welcome many of the measures taken to date, which have helped to sustain tenancies in the short term.

However, they do not feel as if they go far enough to adequately protect renters going forward.

The statement noted that without additional support, more renters will lose their homes in the coming months, with the risk of an increase in homelessness.

Within the Budget, the companies believe that a targeted financial package to help renters pay off arrears built since lockdown measures started in March last year is required.

In addition, a welfare system that provides renters with the security of knowing that they can afford their homes.

The statement concluded: “We urge the Chancellor to act now to avoid renters being scarred by debts they have no hope of clearing and a wave of people having to leave their homes in the weeks and months to come.”