Posted 16 Mar 2020
Shelter response about incomes of private renters being affected by the coronavirus outbreak
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The situation with coronavirus is serious and developing daily. While the country faces unprecedented times, we’re asking landlords to be sensitive to any tenants affected by coronavirus or self-isolating who could lose out on income and temporarily struggle with their rent.
“If you’re a tenant who is having trouble keeping up with your rent payments because of coronavirus you should speak to your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible, as they may be willing to agree a repayment plan. Some people may also be able to claim benefits like universal credit to help with housing costs, so if you’re struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help and find out your options. Paying off rent arrears should be a top priority before any other non-urgent debts.
“Shelter is here so that no-one has to face bad housing or homelessness on their own. Anyone worried about their housing situation can get in touch for free, expert advice by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/gethelp .”
Notes to Editors
- Don’t ignore the situation, get advice straight away. Talk to one of our expert advisers who can take you through your options and advise on next steps.
- Always prioritise paying off any rent arrears before any other non-priority debts, this is the best way to safeguard your home.
- Speak to your landlord or letting agent about your situation as soon as possible. They may be willing to resolve any payment problems and agree to a repayment plan.
- You may be able to make a claim for benefits like universal credit or housing benefit that could help you with rent payments, and be able to apply for a discretionary housing paymen t from your local council. Visit our website to find out more about the help available.
- If you already claim some benefits, there might be an option to have rent arrears deducted from your other benefits like jobseekers allowance or income support. Get in touch with Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service who should be able to tell you more.