Under the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people all around the UK are facing financial burdens. Over one-fifth of UK households live in privately rented accommodation in the UK.
With the lockdown in action, these people are facing a disrupted source of income because of job loss or reduced pay. Renters like you may find it difficult to pay rent in such difficult financial scenarios.
The government has been pressurised to act towards this common issue. The people urged the government to introduce the ‘Rent Holiday’ for tenants who struggle financially in the wake of COVID-19. The pressure resulted in government making new legislation for the State.
State Legislation For Renters
Under the new legislation, all new tenant evictions will be suspended, and it will permit no new possession proceedings in the UK. This will prevent the tenants from being evicted from their homes during the coronavirus crisis.
Also, under this legislation, the renters can negotiate a mortgage repayment holiday of up to three months with their lender, but it would be up to the landlord to decide whether to grant one. The landlord would have to give you notice of eviction and then get a court order to make you leave in the condition of crisis.
Legally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, you still owe rent for the services you are availing. But considering the grave situation, your landlord may be willing to help and compromise in rent amount.
Follow these guidelines to pay your landlord during the pandemic:
1. Negotiate Your Rent
In case you cannot meet the landlord in person, write an email or message to your landlord discussing the issues you face in the pandemic’s heat.
Your proposal should explain the following points:
- Why you are struggling with rent payment, e.g. job loss, pay cuts, etc.
- What initiatives you are taking to address your situation, e.g. an application for benefits
- Your rent payment proposal
Do not offer to pay more than you can financially afford at this hour. Maintain honesty and clarity while discussing your problems. In these situations, good credit is weighted more heavily than the absence of an income or reduced pay.
You can ask your landlord to refer to your credit history to get an understanding of how responsible you are with your bills. This approach might help you to portray an image that the landlord can count on you as a tenant.
You can also submit a few references with former employers and landlords to show your responsibility and good standing in society.
Request a relative or a close friend to sign the agreement with you as a guarantor. Bear in mind that the co-signer must have good credit and sufficient income, as they will be responsible for the rent if you cannot pay.
If your landlord is unwilling to reduce the rent at any conditions, you can pursue him for more time to pay the due rent. Also, you can ask him to allow the payments by instalments for a course of time through a repayment plan.
A repayment plan will help you make smaller payments to your landlord over a longer period. Although you still have to pay everything back at the end, it could be easier than paying the full amount in one go.
2. Sign An Agreement
Sign an agreement or a written letter for the terms you both settle for. Do not forget to mention the clause of whether you will pay the back-slag rent later on or not. This approach will save you from the rent burden at present, and the confusion over the payment amount of the rent after the pandemic is over.
Keeping in contact is also equally important. Explain to your landlord that you will keep him updated on the situation and that you are willing to negotiate future rent payments according to your flow of income. This will build faith in your tenant relationship with the landlord.
3. Failed Negotiations
If you can’t agree with your landlord at any point during the negotiation, it might be easier for you to get easy loans to pay your rent instalments without a hassle. It’s an excellent idea to pay what you can afford in your specific situation and keep a virtual or legal record of what you offered.
In case the landlord has decided to turn to extreme measures, he will approach the court for the eviction order of the tenant. Keeping a record of your payments and offer will help you get an eviction suspended till the pandemic is over.
Other Government Measures That Will Help You
The government has said that they will pay the renters suffering from coronavirus who are required to stay at home. The government has stepped up to cover 80% of wages for employees who are kept on company payrolls but do not have any work during the crisis.
Even if you have to take time off work due to coronavirus sickness or are not paid or paid less than your usual wages, they might entitle you to claim benefits. Employers with 250 employees will be refunded the pay by the government for up to 14 days of sickness. This will allow the renters to pay out their rent in due time.
You can’t get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re self-employed. But if there aren’t any shortfalls in your National Insurance Contributions over the last couple of years, you might just qualify for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). To track any gaps in your NI contributions, login to your online account.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the government has also increased the basic level of unemployment benefit by £20 per week.
Rent escape is barely possible in the prevailing economic conditions. These guidelines will guide you to pay a significant amount of your rent during the pandemic.
You can access some uk borrowing assistance with ease to pay your rent without due. Also, managing your finances wisely can save you in the event of an eviction. Track your expenses and build your savings to support yourself and your family during these harsh economic times.