Coronavirus: Information for tenants

The Government has limited any eviction in social or private accommodation while the coronavirus crisis is taking place.

From 26 March 2020, landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession. This means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period. This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point. This includes possession of tenancies in the Rent Act 1977, the Housing Act 1985, the Housing Act 1996 and the Housing Act 1988. After three months if the tenant has not moved a landlord needs to apply to court in order to proceed. From 27 March 2020, the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the or any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.

Our advice, at the moment, is:

– Try to keep all evidence of your communication with your landlord. Whenever possible, try to communicate with your landlord through mail or text.

– Rent should not be your top priority now, but food and medicines. Ignore any messages from your landlord asking you to pay rent in advance for April or May. Only pay your rent if you can afford it.

– If you do not pay your rent, consider getting in touch with your fellow tenants. You could write a letter together demanding that rent payments are ceased for the duration of the crisis. The more people that don’t pay, the greater the safety of each tenant, this is called a rent strike.

– If you have to agree on repayment plan, negotiate a sensible agreement. Try to negotiate an agreement according to your situation during the crisis. For example, if your income has drop to just 25% of your average income, try to negotiate a rent of just 25% of your average rent for all the period.

More information on Shelter England