How to negotiate a rent reduction during the coronavirus outbreak

If you can’t afford your rent because you have lost income - email or message your landlord. Legally you still owe rent but your landlord may be willing to compromise.

Let your landlord know if you have been affected by issues such as:

  • furlough ending

  • the universal credit uplift finishing

You may be able to try mediation if disputes over rent continue, rather than go to court.

Your message should explain:

  • why you are struggling with rent

  • what you are doing to address your situation

  • your payment proposal

  • that you will be in regular contact

Keep a record of any agreement you come to. You need to agree whether you will pay back the arrears later on or not. Do not agree to repayments you can't afford.

Use our template letter

Copy and paste this text. You need to change any parts marked with *. Double check your letter before you send it.

I am writing to notify you of a change in my income due to [end of furlough / reduced hours / job loss / other reasons].

I have checked Shelter’s website and am following their advice to negotiate a payment adjustment for my rent due on *[next rent payment date].

I would like to reassure you that I will pay as much as I can.

I am taking the following steps to increase my income:

*I am looking for work / have interviews lined up / am waiting to hear about a job offer.

*I have applied for universal credit and am waiting for my first payment. I should get this within the next 5 weeks.

I am making a proposal to:

*pay a reduced rent for 1 month of [£...] / not pay rent this month and review the situation next month.

I look forward to hearing your response and will keep you regularly updated on any changes to my situation.

I will be in contact next month to discuss future rent payments.

I hope that we can work together to come to an arrangement.

If your landlord won't agree to a reduction

If you already have rent arrears, you can use these template letters to write to your landlord.

Your landlord may be more likely to agree to a temporary reduction in rent if you can offer a repayment plan.

For example, if you are due a redundancy payment that could clear any arrears. Or if you can work out a plan to pay the rent back in instalments.

Rent is a priority debt. That means you need to pay it before you pay for some of your other outgoings. Find out how to deal with rent arrears if your debts are increasing.

Last updated: 7 October 2021

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