Lockdown Guide to Renting During Coronavirus
With jobs and incomes under threat, many renters are starting to sweat about how to meet rent payments. We’ve created this guide to renting during coronavirus, which we’ll update regularly with new information.
Current advice for renters
Today, the Government stance is that tenants should abide by all terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability and aim to pay their rent as normal. But, if you’ve lost your job or you cannot find paid work, and you are simply not able to pay your rent, pick up the phone and speak to your landlord at the earliest opportunity. Between you, aim to work out a sensible repayment plan that suits you both. Get any agreement that you make in writing.
Remember that, just like homeowners, private landlords can get three-month mortgage payment holidays, if their tenants (you) are experiencing financial hardship.
Advice on GOV.UK states: ‘It’s important that landlords offer support and understanding to tenants’ but they have left any decisions on delaying payments or rent holidays up to an agreement between landlords and tenants. For more information, check out the link on GOV.UK below:
Abiding by the tenancy agreement goes both ways: landlords still remain legally obligated to ensure rental properties meet the required standard – any urgent, essential health and safety repairs must be carried out regardless.
What if my landlord isn’t cutting me any slack?
There are organisations working hard to support renters during this tough time, including the charity Shelter which offers advice and support. Take a look at their comprehensive COVID-19 guide for renters here:
You can contact their national emergency helpline here:
Can I be evicted?
The Government is taking steps to make evicting tenants more difficult for landlords. Until 30 September 2020, most landlords will not be able to start possession proceedings unless they have given their tenants three-months’ notice.
And from 27 March, any claims in the system or about to go into the system will be affected by a 90-day suspension of possession hearings and orders.
If it helps, remember that you are not alone. Millions of renters (and landlords) are experiencing the very same worries and uncertainty.
What do I need to consider if I live in a flatshare?
If you live in a flatshare, and one of your housemates has any symptoms of COVID-19, you’ll all need to self isolate for 14 days. Flatshare site SpareRoom has some useful information for housemates who may be self isolating together:
Click here for more help on coping during the pandemic.