Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information and Updates

Updates on council services, latest news and information relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tenant Grant Fund

The Scottish Government has given funding to Scottish Local Authorities to support the work they are doing to prevent homelessness by creating a grants fund.

This fund is being administered in line with the Scottish Government guidelines with the overall aim of supporting homelessness prevention.

To be eligible for a grant, a tenant must have rent arrears arising as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic during the period between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021. 

The fund can provide a grant to help tenants to come to an agreement with their landlords for repaying rent arrears and to remain in their home. Before making an application to this grant, landlords and tenants should be discussing how any residual rent arrears, not covered by the grant, will be repaid by the tenant.

Any grant award would be paid directly to landlords to credit a tenant's rent account. There is a limited amount of funding available. Grants awards are available until 31 March 2022.  

 

Who is eligible

To be eligible for this grant you must be a tenant of the private or social rented sector in West Lothian and meet the following criteria;

  • You are at risk of becoming homeless or do not have alternative sources of support.
  • You are in rent arrears due to the Covid-19 pandemic with the arrears arising between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021.
  • Your landlord must be either a; 
    • Local Authority
    • Registered Social Landlord
    • Private landlord registered on the Scottish Landlord Register or have recently made a valid application to the Scottish Landlord Register.

In most cases tenants will be at risk of soon becoming homeless. They may have had an eviction notice, or the case will be due to go to court. It is expected that legal actions will have started and more detail and evidence of the stage of action will be requested to make an appropriate grant award. If you are a tenant and think you might be eligible for this grant please contact your landlord directly to discuss this.

Arrears that built up before 23 March 2020 are not eligible. Arrears built up after 9 August 2021 will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

 

Application process

The application process is now live and landlords can apply for the grant on behalf of their tenant. West Lothian Council, Registered Social Landlords and Private landlords will be issued guidance on how to make an application for the grant.

If you are a Private Landlord and would like to make an enquiry, please complete the Private Landlord Tenant Grant Fund enquiry form.

If you are a tenant and think you might be eligible for this grant, please contact your landlord directly to discuss this.

 

Grant amount and conditions

The grant amount paid is based on individual circumstances in line with eligibility.

Where a decision is taken to award a grant, both the landlord and tenant must agree to certain conditions around ensuring the tenancy can be sustained. For example, withdrawing or suspending any legal proceedings for eviction and the tenant agreeing to pay the rent and any remaining rent arrears going forward through an affordable repayment plan. Conditions will be discussed during the process and confirmed in the offer letter. 

This payment will not be taken into account for benefit or Income Tax purposes.

 

Payment

Any grant award will be paid directly to the landlord and credited to the rent account to reduce any rent arrears and prevent homelessness. This may be a full or partial payment of the arrears.

Grant awards will be calculated when the decision maker is satisfied that the evidence provided supports all the required criteria. Grants will then be paid when both landlord and tenant have agreed to the terms of a grant offer that will be issued for agreement.

The grant is a one-off payment and does not need to be paid back.

 

If you have an enquiry email TenantGrantFund@westlothian.gov.uk

 

To learn how we will use your information to deliver this service, please see the Icon for pdf Tenant Grant Fund Privacy Notice [134.26KB].

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