What to do if You Can’t Pay Your Rent During Covid-19
Times are especially hard amid the coronavirus pandemic and if you are struggling to pay your rent, you are not the only one.
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The most important thing to remember is not to panic. Try and stay calm while you figure out how you will resolve this issue.
We’ve put some tips together, in case you’ve found it hard to make rental payments or know anyone who is having trouble paying their rent.
Can I stop paying my rent?
The government has stated that you should continue to pay your rent as usual. If this is no longer possible, it is extremely important that you speak to your landlord and letting agent as soon as you possibly can. The rent that you previously agreed to in your tenancy agreement is still binding. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay, talk to your landlord and try to reach an understanding with them.
What if I am already in debt?
If you’re already in debt, it is vital that you seek help immediately and do not ignore bills. First try speaking to a financial advisor and ask for their advice. It is also worth talking to the companies that you owe money to, as they may be able to help by lowering monthly payments. You can also check if you are eligible for any financial benefits.
You may be able to claim benefits if you have coronavirus, or have been advised to stay home, if you’ve lost your job, if you’re self-employed and can’t get work or if you cannot work because your workplace has closed. You may also be eligible for free school meals for your children and you may be able to claim money to help with living costs if you or your child is unwell.
Manage your budget
While there are some situations that are beyond your control, not being able to pay rent may be more of a budgeting issue. If you think you are going to be short of money this month, take a look at your budget. Sometimes you have to make some sacrifices to ensure that you can continue to live happily in your rental. If you’ve looked at your budget and cut down where necessary and you still believe you won’t be able to pay, it is time to talk to your landlord.
Communicate with your landlord
There is absolutely nothing worse than ignoring the issue of not being able to pay your rent. While it is not a particularly joyful conversation to be having with your landlord, it is vital that they are your first port of call.
Explain to them why you can’t pay the rent, when the landlord can expect to be paid and how you can work together to sort out the issue. It is always better to be open and honest, and in the majority of cases, a landlord will understand your situation. In any case, don’t panic. A landlord cannot immediately evict you, as a formal process must take place first.
Realising you may not be able to make your rent is a scary feeling, but there are ways and means to resolve the issue. Remember: your landlord is a person too. In most cases they will understand if you have fallen on hard times, and work with you to resolve any rental issues. Speak to them as soon as possible.