Coronavirus information and advice for private renters
There's lots of advice and support for private tenants. For advice and support for council tenants, please see our service changes page.
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The Housing Standards Team can provide assistance to vulnerable private renters who may be experiencing difficulty with housing issues such as the threat of eviction, rent issues and problems with disrepair and safety in the home.
To request assistance please complete and submit our welfare form You can self-refer or someone can refer on your behalf.
Living in shared accommodation
Tenants living in HMO’s or other shared accommodation can find advice to assist with cleaning/disinfecting accommodation and general hygiene standards in non-healthcare settings such as HMO’s, hostels and other shared accommodation.
Tenants in shared accommodation who are self-isolating should follow the Government's advice, to minimise the risk of infecting others. This is particularly important where individuals are sharing facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms. It’s also important that tenants in shared properties let the property manager know if they have symptoms, the property manager can then let fellow tenants know. As per government advice, the whole household should now self-isolate for 14 days. The NLA have compiled a useful guide to help minimise health risks in rented accommodation.
For more information and support on living in shared accommodation during this time, please see our shared accommodation advice page.
Landlords’ repair obligations have not changed and urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. Tenants have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live.
Urgent repairs include:
- dangerous electrics
- fire safety issues
- damp and mould
- no heating
- no hot water
An agreement for non-urgent repairs to be done later should be made between tenants and landlords.
Tenants can still report disrepair in privately rented properties. Visits will be undertaken where there is evidence of disrepair that poses a risk to vulnerable persons or the disrepair is serious.
Before any visit you will be contacted and asked if you are self-isolating or have symptoms of Covid 19. If a visit is carried out we ask that you keep your distance from the Officer and allow them to work alone by staying in a different room. These precautions are for your health and safety as well as that of our Officer.
Complaints about suspected HMO properties will be taken and given priority when normal service can resume.
All court proceedings for eviction have been suspended until after Sunday 23 August. Your landlord cannot apply to court for an order to evict you. If they have already applied then your case will be put off until after Sunday 23 August. The court will tell you when any new hearing is but this may take time.
Help from us
If you live in Redbridge and have received an eviction notice from your landlord since the start of the government measures on 19 March 2020, you should contact our Housing Needs team. Their telephone number is 0208 708 4002 and their email address is email@example.com. They will be able to provide you with advice about what to do at this time.
Justice for Tenants
The Housing Standards Team work closely with an organisation called Justice for Tenants. They can provide tenants with free independent legal advice and assistance on a range of matters relevant to private tenancies. The easiest way to get this free advice is to complete the contact form on their homepage or send an email with the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are still liable for rent and should pay this as usual. If you face financial hardship and struggle to pay this, support is available. You should speak to your landlord first if you have difficulty meeting a rental payment. We would encourage tenants and landlords to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme.
Landlords will also be protected by a 3-month mortgage payment holiday where they have a Buy to Let mortgages.
If you are facing financial hardship during this time we may be able to provide financial assistance to you. This includes:
If you are already receiving housing benefit and or council tax reduction but are still having difficulty paying your rent or council tax, you can apply for a short-term discretionary payment. Please visit our benefits online service.
Help to pay your rent and Council Tax
We understand that finances may become stretched during these difficult times. Please remember that your rent and Council Tax are priority debts. In addition to the financial support we can provide via Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Discretionary Payments we can also:
- Pay your Housing Benefit direct to your landlord, this may help you to budget and prevent the need for you to leave your home to make your rental payments if you are self-isolating. This will also help to secure your tenancy in these uncertain times.
- Spread your Council Tax instalments over a longer period of time.
Help with living costs
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you’re on a low income or out of work
- you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
- you live in the UK
Find out more on how to claim universal credit.
Find out how you can access foodbank vouchers if you need them.
Our benefits page has lots more information that you may find useful.
- Government guidance for landlords and tenants following the Coronavirus Act