FAQ for tenants
Do I need to continue paying my rent during the outbreak?
Yes – rent remains payable. The Government has not mandated any suspension or variation of rental payments, and has placed no formal obligation on landlords to financially support their tenants during the crisis. Any support landlords may be willing to offer is likely to be influenced by their own personal circumstances.
You should explore the many new forms of financial support which have been made available in recent weeks before seeking to discuss any payment variations with us or your landlord. You may find the following helpful:
Citizens Advice Bureau
The Money Advice Service
Local authority Hardship Fund (which includes Council Tax relief for the economically vulnerable)
Utility companies, credit and/or insurance providers and subscription operators (who are being asked by the Government to operate flexibly in support of customers affected by Covid-19).
Can my landlord help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent?
It is possible that your landlord may be able to assist by varying the contractual obligations which your tenancy agreement places on you. However, before considering any such request s/he is likely to want to better understand your change in circumstances, so please take a few moments to read these Covid-19 Tenant FAQs carefully before approaching us or your landlord.
Can you help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent?
We understand that this is a difficult time for many of our customers and we will do our very best to help. Please email in the first instance so we can discuss and will help you to determine:
Whether asking to vary your rental payments is necessary
What type of payment plan might work best
How to clear any arrears which may accumulate during a period of payment variation
In many cases we will be able to contact your landlord to discuss your proposals. Subject to your landlord’s understanding and consent we will also ensure the relevant paperwork is completed if any variations to your tenancy agreement are subsequently agreed.
What if I can’t afford to pay my rent?
If you are having trouble paying your rent it is important that you discuss this with us (if we fully manage your property) or with your landlord (if s/he arranges maintenance and repairs) as soon as possible.
You should be ready to provide evidence of whichever of the following reasons may be relevant to your change in financial circumstances:
You have been furloughed
You have lost your job, been made redundant or had an offer of employment withdrawn
You are working, but your earnings have materially reduced
Your landlord may also wish to understand whether you could still meet your rental obligations despite your change in financial circumstances. You may, therefore, be asked to discuss the following:
The value of furlough payments and/or your revised income levels
The value of any redundancy package and/or notice pay
Savings and other assets (such as shares) which could be released to cover your rent
A rental guarantor
Insurance cover which could help, such as an Income Protection policy
Your eligibility for Universal Credit and/or other relevant Government support such as Discretionary Housing payments
Your eligibility to benefit from other forms of Government-backed Coronavirus support, such as local authority grants/ business rates relief/ business interruption loans (for the self-employed), deferred VAT or self-assessment payments, etc.
Steps taken to adjust your non-essential spending