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Many landlords have already done a brilliant job at supporting their tenants during the pandemic, whether that’s putting in place a payment plan for tenants who are struggling, or suspending payment of rent and bills while tenants have been sick with COVID-19 or furloughed.

1. Tackle utility costs

  • Insulate the walls, roof and floor to conserve heat
  • Install an energy-efficient boiler
  • Provide white goods that have a good eco-rating

2. Advise tenants on heating their home to keep it in good condition

3. Make small annual increases in rent

4. Handling deposits

5. Maintain a good line of communication

6. Make sure tenants know what financial help is available

  • Universal Credit. If your tenants are out of work or in low-paid employment — including self-employed or part-time — they may be eligible for a Universal Credit payment to help with living costs. Tenants can apply online via the GOV.UK website
  • Pension Credit. If your tenants are pensioners, they may benefit from Pension Credit. Many are eligible, but don’t claim this help, yet it can be worth up to £14.48 a week for a single person, and £16.20 for married couples and civil partners. For more information, visit Money Helper
  • Council tax reduction. If your tenant is on a low income or experiencing hardship, they may qualify for a council tax reduction of up to 100 per cent. Each local authority has different eligibility criteria, but it’s straightforward to apply online. And if your tenant is living alone, make sure they’re already taking advantage of the standard 25 per cent discount . More information on council tax can be found on Which.co.uk
  • Household Support Fund. Every local authority UK-wide has access to this fund, to help households struggling to afford food and utility bills on a discretionary basis. In the Chancellor’s Spring Statement this year, he announced that the fund had been doubled and will be available until the end of September 2022
  • Discretionary housing payments. This is financial support for people who receive housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, which can cover rent shortfalls, removal costs for moving home and rent deposits. There are two separate schemes, one for England and Wales and another for Scotland
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