Copy, paste and edit the text below to send to your landlord or house provider to ask for rent relief (flexibility).
When writing to your landlord, you should include the following information:
• An outline of your circumstances, including if you have moved out, become ill or are struggling to pay the full rent whilst you remain in the property.
• If you have specific reasons why you are unable to meet rent payments, such as unemployment due to COVID-19 precautions or an illness.
• Include any relevant dates. For example, when your course changed to online provision, when you moved out of your property, or when you were made redundant.
Things to remember:
CHECK (AND DOUBLE CHECK) YOUR TENANCY AGREEMENT
Make sure to double check that your tenancy agreement doesn’t include a break clause (most don’t but it's worth checking). If it does, contact your relevant Students’ Union Advice Service with a copy of your agreement. They can offer advice on how to implement the break clause. If your tenancy agreement doesn’t have a break clause or if you are still living in the property and struggling to pay your rent, then it’s important that you communicate with your landlord at the earliest opportunity.
KEEP RECORDS OF YOUR COMMUNICATION
Ensure that all communication with your landlord or letting agent is in writing (email is fine but avoid communicating via text message/phone). Keep hold of them for your own records. If your desired outcome is a rent holiday and your landlord responds negatively to your request, please forward a copy of your correspondence to your relevant Students’ Union Advice Service for further advice (contact details for each Union are at the bottom of the page).
Dear [landlord’s/house provider’s name],
Up until recently, we/I were/was living in the property [add address] while I was studying at the [Add University], but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the University suspended all face-to-face teaching at the end of March and all teaching has moved to online. However as a student we/I have lost essential resources such as library facilities to work in and use, and interactions with other students on a regular basis. Therefore, to assist the national effort to successfully contain the virus, reduce the rate of infection and to ensure that the health service is not completely overwhelmed, we/I returned to our/my main home on [add date].
We/I rely on wages to pay rent and we're/I am going to be earning much less over the coming months. [add more details about your work/wage situation - make it as personal as you feel comfortable to.]
Recently published Government guidelines state that as part of our “national effort” to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak it’s “important that landlords offer support and understanding to tenants who may start to see their income fluctuate” and that this should “include accept[ing] a lower level of rent” for tenants that will struggle to pay their rent at this time. The guidelines can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876500/Consolidated_Landlord_and_Tenant_Guidance_COVID_and_the_PRS_v4.2.pdf
As you will have heard, the Government has announced a three-month mortgage holiday for landlords whose tenants are having trouble paying their rent due to the coronavirus. Not only does this provide home-owners with a level of financial stability in these times, but it gives landlords the opportunity to offer a financially agreeable solution to their tenants.
In light of the above, we/I kindly request a reduction of rental payments until the end of our/my contract. [You should work out what you can afford to pay in rent over the next 3months once you have met your basic needs such as food and medicine. You could start by offering what you can afford to pay, such as a rent reduction of 50%.]
We/I hope, for ourselves and 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 in this period of uncertainty.
We/I hope you can consider this. Please do let us/me know if speaking on the phone would be helpful.
We/I look forward to hearing back from you.