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Help for private tenants

Bensham housing

Are you a private tenant, and have been unable to pay your rent during the coronavirus crisis? If you have lost your job or seen a significant loss of income you might be worried about your tenancy.

It's likely that many tenants who are experiencing money worries as a result of coronavirus might get some financial support at this time. You should check what help you can get. You may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit or a Discretionary Housing Payment.Visit our benefits pages for details

Gateshead Citizens Advice have also set up a dedicated telephone help service for people that have gotten into debt as a result of lockdown.

If you have rent arrears, you should speak to your landlord or letting agent to try to agree a longer period of time to pay back what you owe. Some landlords have agreed a lower rent for people whose income has dropped. It's important to keep paying something, and always keep a record of what you pay and whatever agreement you make. You should talk to your landlord even if you are waiting for a benefit payment to come through.

Don't ignore the situation. Government introduced protection for tenants so that evictions cannot take place, but this comes to an end on 23 August 2020.

Your landlord can start the eviction process now.  Despite the Government protection you can still be served notice to end your tenancy, but you have to be given more time than usual (three months). It's important to remember that your landlord cannot simply end your tenancy without following the legal eviction process. This includes issuing you with a 'Notice to Quit' and sometimes a court order. 

Remember that if your landlord tries to physically or forcefully remove you from your property without an eviction order, the landlord is committing a crime. If your landlord physically removes you from the property, or threatens to do so, or if they change the locks, you should seek help straight away.

Councillor John Adams, Gateshead Council's cabinet member for housing said: "Everyone knows the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge financial impact on people in Gateshead, with reduced incomes from furlough leave and with worrying announcements of job losses. What is clear is that a lot of people, through no fault of their own, are finding themselves in a financial position they have not been in before.

"If you're struggling to pay your bills, if your rent is overdue and you're not sure where you're going to find the money to pay it, please don't ignore it in the hope the problem will go away - it won't.

"Our private rented sector housing teams are here to give you advice on the help that's available to you and to make sure that you are aware of your rights as a private tenant. Please do ask for help and advice, and the sooner you do that the better."

If you are a private tenant and need further advice and support call 0191 433 3174. If you need help with debt call Gateshead Citizens Advice on 0191 490 4248.

 

Bensham housing
30 July 2020

Are you a private tenant, and have been unable to pay your rent during the coronavirus crisis? If you have lost your job or seen a significant loss of income you might be worried about your tenancy.

It's likely that many tenants who are experiencing money worries as a result of coronavirus might get some financial support at this time. You should check what help you can get. You may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit or a Discretionary Housing Payment.Visit our benefits pages for details

Gateshead Citizens Advice have also set up a dedicated telephone help service for people that have gotten into debt as a result of lockdown.

If you have rent arrears, you should speak to your landlord or letting agent to try to agree a longer period of time to pay back what you owe. Some landlords have agreed a lower rent for people whose income has dropped. It's important to keep paying something, and always keep a record of what you pay and whatever agreement you make. You should talk to your landlord even if you are waiting for a benefit payment to come through.

Don't ignore the situation. Government introduced protection for tenants so that evictions cannot take place, but this comes to an end on 23 August 2020.

Your landlord can start the eviction process now.  Despite the Government protection you can still be served notice to end your tenancy, but you have to be given more time than usual (three months). It's important to remember that your landlord cannot simply end your tenancy without following the legal eviction process. This includes issuing you with a 'Notice to Quit' and sometimes a court order. 

Remember that if your landlord tries to physically or forcefully remove you from your property without an eviction order, the landlord is committing a crime. If your landlord physically removes you from the property, or threatens to do so, or if they change the locks, you should seek help straight away.

Councillor John Adams, Gateshead Council's cabinet member for housing said: "Everyone knows the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge financial impact on people in Gateshead, with reduced incomes from furlough leave and with worrying announcements of job losses. What is clear is that a lot of people, through no fault of their own, are finding themselves in a financial position they have not been in before.

"If you're struggling to pay your bills, if your rent is overdue and you're not sure where you're going to find the money to pay it, please don't ignore it in the hope the problem will go away - it won't.

"Our private rented sector housing teams are here to give you advice on the help that's available to you and to make sure that you are aware of your rights as a private tenant. Please do ask for help and advice, and the sooner you do that the better."

If you are a private tenant and need further advice and support call 0191 433 3174. If you need help with debt call Gateshead Citizens Advice on 0191 490 4248.

 

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