The information below has been prepared in light of the current Coronavirus outbreak.
Worried about being able to pay your rent?
Tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay this as usual, it is still important to make sure you get the correct amount of housing benefit or help with rent through Universal Credit. Detailed updated information on welfare benefits is available on the Citizen’s Advice website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/
If you receive a decision that you think is wrong or if you are being prevented from applying for benefits we may be able to help you challenge the situation, check out our welfare benefits page for more information.
You could also contact your landlord to tell them why you are struggling with rent payments and see if you can arrange a payment plan. The Government is encouraging landlords and tenants to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme and, once the emergency is over, resolve disputes and arrears taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.
Worried that your landlord is about to try to end your tenancy?
From 26 March 2020, landlords must give all renters three months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy).
If you are worried about an eviction notice, contact us, we will do our best to advise you or tell you where you can get help if we cannot take on your case.
Has your landlord already served you with notice that they want to end your tenancy?
From 27 March 2020, the court service has suspended all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in court system nor those about to go into the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days. Further information can be found here.
This decision will protect most tenants in private, Council or Housing Association accommodation, mortgagees and some people with licences. It doesn’t cover some people who are excluded from the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. If you don’t know whether you have a licence or a tenancy you should seed independent advice.
The Government has also announced that Local Authorities will have to house all rough sleepers by 28 March 2020. Further information can be found here.
If you are worried because your landlord has started possession proceedings against you, contact us, we will do our best to advise you or tell you where you can get help if we cannot take on your case.
Is your home in need of repairs and you are worried that your landlord won’t do anything about it until the end of the crisis?
Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should still be made. You should try to reach an agreement about other non-urgent repairs to be made at a later date.
If you think your landlord is illegally refusing to make repairs that are urgent because they affect your health or safety you can contact us by phone or email, we will do our best to advise you or tell you where to get help if we cannot take your case on.