What help is there out there for renters who have been impacted by Coronavirus?

What help is there out there for renters who have been impacted by Coronavirus? Whether that be their workplace has closed down and they’ve been forced to go home, they’re self isolating or their self employed.    Rishi Sunak has said he will bring "Unprecedented measures for unprecedented times."  But what are these measures?

What funds are there to help me pay my rent?

Universal Credit will be raised by £1,000 a year as part of a £7billion coronavirus welfare rescue package.  The "standard allowance" – £323.22 a month for single people and £507.37 a month for couples – will be raised for the next 12 months.  Working Tax Credit will be raised by the same amount.

 

The government will also suspend the minimum income floor for Universal Credit "for everyone effected by the economic impact of coronavirus".  This means a self-employed person with zero income will be able to claim Universal Credit at a similar rate to someone who is unemployed.  It will mean "every self employed person can access Universal Credit at rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay," the Chancellor said.

 

Please visit https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/ for details on how to apply

 

On housing benefit, the Local Housing Allowance will be changed so that it is guaranteed to cover at least 30% of market rents in a claimant's area.

Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month.  Equivalent to the UK average wage of £30,000 as long as employers keep workers on their books and there is no limit on the total cost.  This scheme, provided by HMRC, will be up and running by the end of April and will be backdated to 1st March 2020. It is available to all employers in the country, small or large, charitable or non profit.  It covers anyone who is on the PAYE system through a company.  If you are on a zero hours contract it may well mean you are still on the PAYE scheme and will have a regular set of earnings, however this may be dependant on each set of particular circumstances.

If your self employed, at present you can apply for universal credit, however there is expected to be an announcement today as the Government finalises their funding plan.

Banks have been effectively told to let people cash in fixed savings early – with no penalties – if people are struggling and ‘show forbearance’ with debt repayments.  So please look at this option as well

 

Can my Landlord throw me out of my property just now?

Landlords have been banned from evicting tenants during the coronavirus outbreak, whether private or social. But this doesn’t mean you can stop paying your rent. 

The government has said that during the coronavirus outbreak no tenant – either private or social – can be evicted from their home. And more than that, landlords cant start even start the process for at least the next three months

Housing Minister Robert Jenrick MP said: "The Government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home."

This is a payment break, not a free pass.

At the end of the emergency period you will need to find the cash to pay their monthly bills as well as your arrears. 

We want anyone who thinks they will be financially impacted to contact us straight away so we can contact your landlord and work out a repayment plan, if required, taking in to account your individual circumstances. 

 

Overall

·        Keep talking to us.  If you anticipate or are already experiencing a drop in your income, let us know.

·        If you need a rent repayment plan work with us and this can be reviewed periodically. 

·        Keep whatever evidence you can to demonstrate a lack of work or income