London Renters Union ignores government advice that both sides should agree a payment plan and instead the letter urges landlords to allow their tenants to stop paying their rent.

Housing campaign group the London Renters Union has published a letter that the organisation urges renters to use in order to negotiate a rent suspension with their landlord.

Written in a somewhat breezy style given the ramifications for landlords if they were to let their tenant stop paying their rent, it also ignores the government’s advice, which is that tenants who are struggling should agree a payment plan with their landlord.

The guidance says: “An early conversation between landlord and tenant can help both parties to agree a plan if tenants are struggling to pay their rent.

“This can include reaching a temporary agreement not to seek possession action for a period of time and instead accept a lower level of rent or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date.”

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The letter also assumes a somewhat bleak financial for the renter sending the letter, accepting that they are living ‘from paycheck to paycheck’.

This is the missive that the London Renters Union is urging tenants to download and send to their landlords.

The Letter

“Dear X

We hope you’re keeping well in these really strange and fast-changing circumstances!

We’re watching developments about COVID-19 very closely and are, as you might imagine, really concerned.

We work in ________ and live paycheck to paycheck each month. We’re going to be earning much less over the coming months.

We rarely have more than one month’s rent available at any one moment.

[Add more details about your situation – make it as personal as you feel comfortable to]

For these reasons, we kindly request a suspension of payments until the situation improves.

Many renters across the country are in a similar situation. As you might have heard, the government has announced a three month mortgage holiday for all landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

The government and the National Residential Landlords Association are asking landlords to show compassion.

We hope, for ourselves and for everyone’s sake, that life becomes more stable as soon as possible. Until then, it seems all we can do is be pragmatic, avoid panic, and support each other as best we can. We hope you can consider this.

Do let us know if speaking on the phone would be helpful.

Looking forward to hearing your response.

Best wishes from us all.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. No mention of the tenants catching back up when CV is over then!
    Freeloaders are the worst for sure.
    Help the struggling yes!
    Not the Spongers.

    • Most landlords are happy to help the genuine ” can’t pay” tenants however too many tenants choose to be “won’t pay” even though they could afford to.

  2. I would not even consider it without sufficient evidence from the tenant that their income has dropped significantly. I would defer that’s it. Spongers will always try it on.

  3. I got a letter from Boris today, maybe you did too. It says tenants are going to receive gov help to pay rents they cannot pay.

  4. The tenant should get housing benefits , if there income has dropped . If they decide to spend it on something other than there rent , then no . Landlords will gladly help them claim universal credit. Direct payments only to landlord of cause .

  5. All this will cause is a glut of tenants suddenly being evicted later in the year, unable to find new homes because they now have no reference,

  6. What they don’t say is that the 3month mortgage holiday does not mean you dont pay, it’s an accumulating debt with extra interest for the 3 months.
    We’ve said to our tenants come to an agreement as to what you can pay bearing in mind they will be getting 80% of their income. Make it a level playing field instead of kicking landlords all the time. We’re on the brink of selling ours because of all the laws against landlords. Governments haven’t a clue.

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