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Tenants not paying rent

Coronavirus: Landlords and Renters

The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.


  • From 26 March 2020 landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession. This means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period.
  • From 27 March 2020 the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action. This means that neither cases currently in the system nor any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.
  • Tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay this as usual. If they face financial hardship and struggle to pay this, support is available and we would encourage tenants and landlords to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme.
  • Landlords will also be protected by a 3 month mortgage payment holiday where they have a Buy to Let mortgages.
  • Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. An agreement for non-urgent repairs to be done later should be made between tenants and landlords. Local authorities are also encouraged to take a pragmatic, risk-based approach to enforcement.

Tenants need to pay the rent, and it is not helpful to let them build up rent arrears. We encourage you to contact tenants as soon as they fail to pay rent on time, and that you tell them that if they do not pay the rent due you will start action to evict them.

If a tenant says they cannot afford to pay the rent, please encourage them to contact our Housing Options team.

The Housing Options team will be pleased to contact your tenant to advise them they need to pay the rent. If the tenant says that Housing Benefit is the problem, the Housing Options team can find out what the problem is and what needs to be resolved. Call 01283 508120 during office hours.

If the tenant receives Housing Benefit and they are 8 weeks in arrears then you can ask us to pay their Housing Benefit direct to you. If rent is due monthly then the tenant is 8 weeks in arrears as soon as they have missed two rent payments.

Apply for payment to yourself and send it with the necessary evidence to the Council at PO Box 8045, Burton upon Trent, DE14 9JG.

The Council does ask you to be reasonable to a tenant who offers a genuine solution e.g. if they are actively sorting out Housing Benefit or they can afford to pay off arrears over time.