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Help and advice available for landlords and tenants

December 11, 2020 1:32 PM

The government is allowing evictions in January.

However Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Citizens Advice are sending a joint message to landlords and tenants encouraging them to access support and advice.

People privately renting and facing a reduction in their income, or who are struggling to pay rent, are being urged to seek advice and not to suffer in silence.

Landlords are being reminded of the latest government advice and urged to make contact with their tenants who may be experiencing difficulties and direct them to help if appropriate.

Currently no eviction notices can be served until 11 January 2021 and given the 14-day notice period required, no evictions are expected to be enforced until 25 January 2021 at the earliest, unless in very exceptional circumstances.

Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Citizens Advice have additionally written a letter to known private landlords with the latest government advice urging them to seek support if needed. The letter also contains details about their responsibilities as landlords, the green homes scheme and where they can access help.

Suzanne Wigmore, CEO of Wiltshire Citizens Advice said: "If you are a tenant struggling to pay rent or a landlord who has tenants who are struggling to pay, please do get in touch with us for advice. There are many ways that we can help with rental payments including access to welfare benefits, discretionary funds, and support with debt advice. We provide free independent advice to anyone in Wiltshire who needs it, and around 1 in every 11 households across Wiltshire come to us for help every year."

Tenants who have difficulties are advised to:

  • Contact Wiltshire Council's housing options team on homeless@wiltshire.gov.uk if they are threatened with homelessness or are struggling financially.
  • Contact Wiltshire Citizens Advice. Wiltshire Citizens Advice provides free, independent advice and can be contacted via the local website or on 0800 144 88 48. Tenants can also get advice from the national website
  • If income has reduced including if the tenant is working or has been furloughed they may be able to get welfare benefits to claim help with housing costs. People can use the Citizens Advice national website to check what benefits they may be entitled to. If rent cannot be paid, as a landlord you may agree to reduce the rent to help maintain the tenancy
  • There are also a range of tools on the Citizens Advice national website to check what help tenants can get if they are struggling to pay household bills.

More information is available at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/coronavirus-if-you-have-problems-with-your-rented-home/