New regulations published by the government benefit renters avoiding payments, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

The amended guidelines will mean that a tenant can build close to 18 months of rent arrears without any sanction.

Recent alterations mean that until 11 January 2021, possession orders by the courts, relating to rent arrears, can only be enforced where the arrears amount to nine months or more of rent built before 23 March.

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Rental arrears built since this date, under the new regulations, will be disregarded.

The NRLA believe this is missed opportunity to help tenants in financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

In addition, the association outlined that the recent changes to regulations do nothing to address housing debt accrued since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “In trying to arrive at a compromise the government has failed to help those in genuine need whilst rewarding those whose arrears have nothing to do with the pandemic, and in some cases are wilfully not paying their rent.

“This is doing nothing to help those tenants who are trying to do the right thing and seeking to pay off their debts.

“Instead of prolonging the problem with short-term fixes, the government needs to urgently bring in a financial package to enable tenants to pay off rent arrears.”