I cannot work and am worried about being able to pay my rent
Unless your landlord has explicitly and directly confirmed otherwise, you are liable to pay rent as usual throughout the pandemic. We have more information about speaking to your landlord here.
If you are facing a loss of income you may be able to apply for Universal Credit, which includes Housing Benefit. If you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re eligible. You should tell your employer as soon as possible.
If you cannot afford to cover your rent, your council may be able to help on the basis that it is not reasonable for you continue to occupy your current accommodation.
Loss of work/redundancy
- The furlough scheme paying 80% of wages up to £2500 a month has been extended until 30 September.
- Self-employed people can claim up to 80% of their historical income, and people previously ineligible for support may be able to access it if they submitted a tax return for 2019-20 by 2 March. Read more
- You are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay if you are are staying at home with coronavirus symptoms or otherwise on government advice. If you are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of illness. If you need evidence for your employer, you can get an isolation note through the NHS online. Read more about Statutory Sick Pay.
- If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. Read more
- If you're self-employed you can claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The 7 waiting days for new claimants will not apply if you are suffering from coronavirus symptoms or are required to stay at home.
If you're well, but you have lost work due to the pandemic, you can claim Universal Credit (which includes housing benefit):
- The Government increased the housing element of Universal Credit (local housing allowance) to cover the full rent for the cheapest 30% of rented homes in a local area. For many renters this is not enough and it may be possible to request a Discretionary Housing Payment through your council.
- To check what you're able to claim, visit a free benefit calculator, such as entitledto.
- If you can't wait for your first payment, you can apply for a month's advance up front, without physically attending a jobcentre, which you will have to pay back over a period of 12 months.
- Universal Credit is currently paid monthly, in arrears. That means you could have to wait up to 5 weeks before receiving a payment. It's important that you communicate with your landlord if you are struggling to pay your rent. We have outlined our advice below.
- If you're self-employed and claiming Universal Credit, you will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected by coronavirus.
- Read more about Universal Credit
We're demanding that the government goes further with its support for renters to end the rent debt crisis. Sign the petition.