CoronavirusFrequently Asked Questions

Rent and other payments

By May 6, 2020 No Comments
We appreciate that the coronavirus pandemic is impacting everyone and that many people’s work, family and income circumstances are affected. We recognise that some of our residents work for low or irregular wages often in insecure employment and may be placed in serious financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

We believe that no one should lose their home because of the coronavirus and want to support those of you who are having difficulty with rent payments. If you’re worried about paying your rent or other charges, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.We can offer you money support advice including help with claiming benefits.

Don’t forget you can pay your rent through our customer portal MyHomeOnline or by phone, this might be especially helpful if you need to self-isolate or want to avoid visiting payment outlets at present

Please remember we’re here to help; please tell us if you need that help. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can talk things through.

Q: I have lost my job and can’t pay my rent. Can I have a rent payment holiday?

We have specialist Income and Money Support teams that help people manage their finances and stay out of debt. Rent payment holidays would result in a build-up of debt and more difficulties in managing payments in the future.  We don’t think stopping rent payments is the right way forward. Our dedicated team can help support you through this tough time. They will be able to help you access any financial support you are entitled to and come up with a plan to manage your rent payments.

Q: The government has announced there will be no evictions for three months. Does this mean that we can have a break from paying rent?

Our teams always work with tenants to try to prevent evictions. We want to work with you to avoid getting behind with rent payments and putting your tenancy at risk in the future. Our teams will support you and help you access any financial support you are entitled to.

Q: Do I still have to pay my service charge?

Your charges are still payable as most services continue to be provided, although some have been changed to comply with the restrictions currently in place.  This means that visits to site may be less frequent and that only emergency repairs are generally being carried out.

As charges are based on estimated costs for the year, where services are stopped for a time and we do not have to pay, this would be reflected in your year-end service charge accounts.

We will return to normal levels of service as soon as government guidance allows but in the meantime please observe the social distancing rules and do not approach contractors if you see them working on site.

While estate services are restricted, it’s especially important that residents dispose of all household rubbish and bulk refuse properly. Please keep hallways and other communal areas clear as this will help to minimise health and safety risks and keep down clearance costs..

Other useful links:

Click here for details of the changes that have been made to statutory sick pay which is payable immediately if you are unable to work because of the coronavirus outbreak, you may also be entitled to sick pay if you are a gig worker and/or on a zero hours contract.

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit (which can include support with housing costs) and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance.

If you’re new to Universal Credit, make sure you know what you need before starting your claim.  Click here to see our check list and tips.

If you’re self-employed and your work has stopped due to COVID-19, visit: Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

You may also be eligible for a bounce back loan of between £2,000 and £50,000 if you have a small or medium sized business. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loanUse a benefit calculator to find out what you could be entitled to.

Money Advice Service website have also shared some useful advice around coronavirus and what it means for your work, benefits and travel plans.