Desperate Scot skips meals after landlord was “horrible” in response to plea for grant

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A DESPERATE Scots tenant has been forced to skip meals after her landlord was “horrible” in response to her plea for vital help with a grant application.

Since applying for the Tenant Hardship Loan in June, Megan Bishop, 25, said the experience has been “traumatic” after claiming that her landlord would not cooperate.

Megan, living in Edinburgh, revealed that when approached for proof of ID and proof of address, her landlord responded that she “doesn’t have time to read” the email.

Image of Megan Bishop - Property News Scotland
Megan applied for the fund back in June but it still hasn’t been paid out.                                               (C) Megan Bishop

Despite seemingly promising to share the needed documents, the PhD student claims that the landlord has still failed to share the items required to finalise the application.

The University of Edinburgh student has been balancing two jobs to pay her expenses but applied for the loan after discovering her income was about to significantly drop.

Megan has now been forced to skip meals as she waits for the details to be sent over.

Megan took to Twitter on Monday to voice her frustrations, writing: “My landlord says they ‘don’t have time’ to read the instructions they’ve been given so I can receive the Tenants Hardship Loan (which I applied for in June and am still waiting to receive any money from).

“Jokes on them, cos they’re not getting my rent without it.”

Despite struggling financially, Megan, who is the National Secretary for Living Rent, a Scottish tenants union, says she is “one of the fortunate ones”.

Megan's tweet - Property News Scotland
Megan tweeted about the frustrating situation on Monday.                                                                       (C) Megan Bishop

An alleged email between the landlord and the hardship fund team shows the team trying to get the information they need.

It appears the landlord responded, writing: “What do they need to know I really don’t have time to read through this all. 

“Let me know what they need and I will send it.”

Speaking today, Megan said: “It’s supposed to be a lifeline for those who are struggling – why is there such a strict eligibility protocol?”

“They’re not achieving what they aim to do.

Property News Scotland
The email needed to confirm proof of address and ID in order to release the funds.                                  (C) Megan Bishop

“Students shouldn’t be getting forced out during a pandemic.

“There are thousands of people suffering because of this.

“It’s been a traumatic experience.

“I’ve been skipping meals sometimes, because I just don’t know if I have the money for every meal, every day.”

The Tenant Hardship Loan was created at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to support people suffering from financial hardship due to the pandemic. 

The loan is available to all private and social sector tenants and can be used to either clear rent arrears from the 1st of January onwards or pay a future three months of rent in advance. 

Repayments for the loan are deferred for 6 months after the money is paid out and the loan can be repaid without interest in 60 monthly instalments.