Your rent questions answered during COVID-19

We understand this is a worrying situation, we have produced a series of Questions and Answers below, relating to Rent, during this situation. 

Please get in touch with us on 0300 303 9848, we are here to help with all money concerns and questions. 

I have had to self-isolate and can’t work. Can I have a payment break from my rent?

Unfortunately not. You still need to pay your rent but we realise you may need help from benefits to do this.  You will need to make a claim to Universal Credit for help to pay your rent for the period that you are away from work.  Please call us on 01606 813535 and ask to speak to the Income Management Team.

Due to COVID-19 my hours have been reduced and I am worried about having enough money to pay my rent. What can I do?

If you are on Housing Benefit then you will need to contact the council to tell them your hours have been cut and they will tell you what to do next.  Call them on 0300 123 5013.  Please call us on 0300 303 9848 and ask to speak to the Income Management Team.

If you are on Universal Credit you will need to tell them of the change of circumstances via your online journal.

If you are not currently in receipt of any benefits you will need to make a claim to Universal Credit for help with living expenses and help to pay your rent. Call our Income Management Team on 0300 303 9848 who can help you through this process.

I receive Tax Credits but I have been told to self-isolate for 14 days, what can I do?

The advice is that you should do a ‘better off’ calculation on a website such as www.entitledto.co.uk and see what you would be able to claim, and you can also contact us if you need support with this.

I am already in receipt of Housing Benefit, but I have had my hours cut at work due to the Coronavirus. What can I do?

Let Housing Benefit know of your Change of Circumstances as soon as you have been made aware of this change.

I was getting Housing Benefit and now I have been laid off due to the COVID-19, what do I do now?

You will need to make a fresh claim to Universal Credit.

I don’t want to make a claim to Universal Credit, I am on Tax Credits, can’t I just make a claim for Housing Benefit instead?

Unfortunately there has been no provision made for you to be able to do this. The advice is that you will need to make a claim to Universal Credit who have put special rules in place to deal with COVID-19 in relation to face-to-face consultations and medical assessments.

I am already on Universal Credit but I am self-isolating, am I risking a sanction for not going for an appointment at the Job Centre?

If you can’t attend a Job Centre appointment because you need to self-isolate, tell the Department for Work and Pensions as soon as possible to avoid being sanctioned.

If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by COVID-19, contact your work coach as soon as possible using your online journal or via the helpline 0800 328 5644.

I am going to be on Statutory Sick Pay but I will have no income for the first 3  days. How does that work?

Statutory Sick Pay will now be paid from the first day of sickness absence, rather than the fourth day, for people who have COVID-19 or have to self isolate.  If you need help to pay your rent you will need to make a claim to Universal Credit.

I am self employed, don’t Universal Credit assume a minimum income for me even though I cannot work at the moment?

For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the minimum income floor in Universal Credit will be temporarily relaxed for those directly affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating, ensuring claimants who are self-employed will be compensated for losses in income.  You should make a claim to Universal Credit straight away.

If you have any other queries please call us on 0300 303 9848 we are here to help you.