As we end probably one of the most unusual months of April we all have had, we know that a number of tenants have already and will be further impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic. We want to provide guidance on the procedure you should follow if you are concerned about your ability to pay your rent. Under the terms of your tenancy the rent is still due, but you may be able to obtain support with your rent if you are in financial difficulty.
Social distancing/personal hygiene advice for staff/contractors/tenants
Guidance on the precautions we must all take to reduce the spread of the virus can be found on the NHS website here.
Which work activities are “absolutely necessary”?
- Move ins where the incoming tenant is not able to postpone the move in date, for example because otherwise they would have nowhere to live
- Emergency maintenance work e.g. heating/hot water repairs, water leaks
- Safety checks to obtain a landlords gas safety certificate
- Move outs to check the property is safe and secure – these should be done without the tenant being present and to reduce the risk of virus spread from surfaces we recommend doing them 72 hours after the tenant has moved out
Managing rent arrears during COVID-19
Under the terms of the tenancy agreement the rent is still due as normal.
Help with your rent during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
- Let us know
Many of us are going to experience financial hardship in the coming months and while you are still liable to pay your rent, we are here to help. Talk to us if you think you might experience problems in paying your rent. We are experienced in helping tenants to avoid getting into rent arrears.
- Enquire about your entitlement to any state benefits.
People affected by coronavirus who are concerned about paying their rent can apply for Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions which includes support for housing costs, if eligible. Universal Credit is available to some working as well as unemployed people. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make applying for this easier. The following website provides further information on applying for Universal Credit: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still can’t afford your housing costs, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). Further information on DHPs and how to apply is available at:
You may also be able to get support through the Scottish Welfare Fund. Further information on how to apply is available on: https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund/crisis-grants/.
If you are currently a student there may be other funds you can access – contact your college or university and ask for help. See also: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/debt-and-money/financial-support-for-students-s/f-discretionary-funds/
We have asked Pinstripe who we work closely with to contact tenants due inspections to Self-inspect, this is a trial and if you do receive an email from Pinstripe regarding this, we would appreciate if you could follow the guidance from the email.
We are planning on opening the property software to tenants so you have access to your information. This is going to have to be phased at this point. If you receive an email with log in details, please try them out and if there are any issues let the team know. We are not sending out the log in details to every tenant straight away as there may be tweaks needed.
Keep in touch so that we know what your situation is and can assist you where possible. Your landlord is more likely to be willing to be flexible if kept updated on your situation.
As we leave the strangest April behind us, and welcome in May the GPL team wish you and your family a safe and healthy time,