Corona Virus (covid-19) Update to everyone
Due to the crisis Streets Estates Ltd like everyone else in the world has to change the way it operates for the foreseeable future. This is not just in order to survive financially, but also to play its part as we all must in order to fight the spread of this Virus. We must work together do whatever we can to help so that in the not too distant future please God, things may get back to normal.
The office is now closed but I have put measures in place to work from home and provide the best service possible for clients. The majority of staff has been FURLOUGHED so please bear this in mind if you need to contact the office for whatever reason that a reply may take longer than you would normally expect. I would suggest that all communication unless URGENT is via email to give time to prioritise and deal with.
You don’t have to be infected to be affected!
It’s more or less a given that some if not all of you will, know someone over the next few weeks and months who will be worried about being unable to pay rent due to the ‘fall out’ from Coronavirus.
Inevitably jobs will be lost through business closure. Reduction in working hours and temporary ‘lay offs’ will result in a cut or even a total loss of wages.
The reality is that the vast majority of tenants are honest, hardworking people – like you and me. Keeping a roof over the heads of their families and themselves is and will always be their main priority.
So what should you do when you are worried if you can pay the rent? Don’t bury your head in the sand.
Firstly notify us? We will try to be as sympatric as possible and provide as much help and support as possible.
There are a few basic facts which you need to be aware of as there is a lot of false information out there.
You may have heard about ‘payment holidays’ for landlords on their mortgages. I must make it clear to you that this simply defers the payments into the future and their landlords will have to make up the missed payments at a later date.
In the same way, rent is still due and will accrue even if it is deferred temporarily, so anything you can do to minimise the debt will help in the long term. With that in mind can you put forward a payment plan which can be taken to the landlord?
Eviction proceedings through the courts have been suspended for three months to allow tenants time to agree a payment plan with their landlord to bring the rent up to date.
It has not been made clear by the government what happens if tenants are in arrears still after that 3 month period, so we can only hope that the situation will be resolved by this point or the government rolls out further financial support.
So before you make the call get all the facts. Don’t panic, think rationally. It may help you to go through the following questions in your mind or with your partner.
What’s happened? Has your employer ceased trading? Have your hours been reduced? Have you been laid off temporarily or asked to take unpaid leave? If self-employed am I unable to continue trading?
You may be asked to provide proof that you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the current pandemic.
Proof can be provided as follows:
• Sick note obtainable via 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 - tenants are advised not to contact their doctor or visit their hospital except in emergencies
• Comparable wage sips showing a decrease income or SSP payments.
• Bank statements for comparison showing the same decrease in income.
• Letter from their employer showing reduced hours/lay off
• Letter from their accountant confirming a reduction in income
• Copy of a benefits claim or proof this has been submitted.
Regarding your current financial position:
How long am I able to carry on paying their rent in full? Pay some rent? Or unable to pay any rent?
These are all questions the agent may be asking you when you call so its best to get prepared in advance.
Here is some more practical advise.
What have you done so far? Are you aware that they can make a claim for benefit immediately? Have you contacted their local council? Have you looked on the Government Housing Benefit website www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
Do you have any life/illness insurance cover; you should contact their insurer to see if there are necessary provisions for interruption of work within the policy.
Communicate….. Make sure your agent has your current mobile and email address Keep in touch and keep them updated with your situation. It is important that you work as closely together with the agent as possible and communicate well to minimise the impact this pandemic may have.
There is further advice and guidance on getting financial support available on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
More than four million people who are on prepayment meters will receive help if they cannot get out to top up.
This may include credit being sent in the post or funds automatically added to their meter.
Those struggling to pay bills will receive support and no credit meter disconnections will take place.
Debt repayments and bill payments could be reassessed, paused or reduced where needed, if energy customers are finding it difficult.
Firms could also send somebody out on a customer's behalf to top up a prepayment meter.
"While friends and family will play a role in helping people impacted by the coronavirus, we recognise there will be many customers who will need additional support and reassurance, particularly those who are financially impacted or in vulnerable circumstances," said Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma.
Below is a link to the money saving expert with lots of additional information about help and support.
another link from the money saving expert regarding water rates and the help available.
Government confirms £500 million hardship fund will provide council tax relief for vulnerable households
£500 million Hardship Fund will provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus. If you are struggling to pay your council please contact your local council who will be able to make you aware of the assistance available.
As you can see there is no reason to panic as their whole host of measures available for everyone to make sure that you survive this crisis, remember this crisis affects everyone no one is unaffected, the only difference is how we are affected.
There is no denying that it may be tough but with a little thought, effort and some sacrifice you will get through the crisis. Remember having a roof over your head is probable your most important need so when working out what bills to pay please bear that in mind. In many cases people are being FURLOUGHED on 80% of pay so with lower travel costs alone there is no reason why you can’t immediately pay 80%+ of the rent ,if not maintain the 100%.
Streets Estates Ltd wish that everyone keep safe, stay inside adhere to the Government guide lines. Also a great big THANK YOU to all the staff in the NHS for the fantastic work they are doing and will continue to do, we couldn’t get through it without you. Remember every Thursday at 8pm go outside, clap hands anything you have to show your support to the NHS , Join us in support and tell a friend.