Rent worries and how we can help
We’re here to help
We support customers in crisis situations all the time – it’s what we do. And while the current coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, we are still here to help.
We always encourage customers to tell us straight away if they are experiencing problems paying their rent and there is a range of help available. We’re approachable and helpful, always focusing on solutions.
We can agree affordable repayment plans and provide specialist advice on claiming benefits, maximising income and managing debt through our dedicated Benefit and Money Advice team.
Rent payment flexibility
We recognise you may encounter financial difficulties in the next few months and which is why we are offering a period of what we’re calling “rent payment flexibility”.
This is a clear and easy way for you to reduce your rental payments over the coming months, however we must be clear with you that the rent you do not pay in this period is not being written off and will need to be paid later in the year.
The initial period for rent payment flexibility is two months. This will be reviewed, depending on the outcome of the current coronavirus outbreak and we will let you know of any changes.
For those using the periods of rent payment flexibility who are about to or have already returned to work, we’ll work with you to set up suitable repayment plans.
If you’re still struggling though, we will look at how we can continue to help.
We know this has been and continues to be a difficult time for many, so we want to reassure you that we will not charge any interest or any fees for arrangements entered into and we will not take action against anyone working with us if they fall into arrears.
48 week rent tenancies
For those of you who are on a 48 week rent tenancy, you already have two rent free weeks coming soon: 30 March and 6 April, which should help in the current situation.
What to do next?
If you think you may struggle to pay your rent as a result of the coronavirus, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We have a dedicated Rent Support team who will provide you with help, support and guidance, during this difficult time. You can contact them via My.GUHG, or alternatively you can call us on 0300 123 5544 to be put through to the team.
Additional help and support
Customers affected financially by coronavirus
Want to know more about Universal Credit? Our dedicated page has all the information you will need, including how to apply.
Council tax support
If your income has reduced you may be eligible for support in paying your council tax, find your council in the links below for information on how to apply.
If you are already claiming but your income has changed, you will need let your council know there has been a change of circumstances so they can re-asses your claim.
If you do not know who your local council is you can enter your postcode here to find out - https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council
If you do know who your local council is, then select them below and either click on new claim or change of circumstances.
Gas and electric
Some of you may be worrying about how you are going to pay your utility bills, and for those on pre-payment meters, how you’re going to keep them topped up.
Ofgem, the regulatory authority for gas and electric have published the following advice on what to do if you are faced with affordability issues.
The government has launched an emergency package with energy suppliers to ensure you don’t face any additional hardships in heating or lighting your home during the coronavirus outbreak. If you are struggling with money problems or are repaying a debt, options will include:
- reviewing bill payment plans, including debt repayment plans
- payment breaks or reductions in how much you pay
- giving you greater time to pay
- in some cases access to hardship funds.
No credit meters will be disconnected during the outbreak.
If you think you can’t afford to pay for any extra gas or electricity used because you’re having to self-isolate at home, support will be available through your energy supplier.
Your supplier must take into account how much you can afford, and will explain your options.
For further general advice on household energy bill support, see our guide: Who to contact if it’s difficult paying bills
For more information from Ofgem, you can visit their website here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-energy-supply
Anglian water have published the following advice:
“We have lots of measures in place for those who might be struggling to pay, from special tariffs to short-term support. Anyone who is having difficulty paying should contact us directly on 0800 169 3630 to discuss their circumstances or find out what extra support we can offer here. The sooner we talk, the sooner we can help.”
You can find more information on their website: https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/help-and-advice/coronavirus/
No advice has been published about support TV Licensing is able to give if you have difficulty paying, it is still a legal requirement to have one if you want to:
- watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel
- watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)
- download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer.
This applies to any device you use, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.
Many internet providers are still working out their response to COVID-19, many are looking at giving free phone calls and extra data and speed boosts. Check your suppliers website directly for more information.