Should private renters who contract coronavirus be able to live rent-free for up to three months?

As policy on how best to manage coronavirus is evolving daily this suggestion reported here caught our eye.

Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and campaigner who runs Tax Research UK, wants to see significantly more support offered to tenants to help ensure that they are not at risk of losing their home if they suddenly fall ill. 

He wrote in a recent blog post: “Far too many people have too few savings to survive major periods of economic inactivity without massive prejudice to their short-term and long-term wellbeing.”  

“Should the epidemic spread then as a matter of statutory right any tenant should be provided with a minimum three-month rent-free period to ease the stress upon them whilst this crisis lasts.” 

“I would suggest that the grant of that extension should be automatic to anyone who does not make a due payment of rent on the required date during the period of the epidemic. They should be automatically granted this extension by the landlord without having to make any further application or to complete any additional paperwork.”

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