We understand that many of you will be worried about your rent should your income change or reduce if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) or need to self-isolate. We would like to reassure you that no-one will lose their home as a result of coronavirus related circumstances which are outside of your control.
During unprecedented times like this, should you encounter any difficulties in paying your rent or service charges we strongly recommend that you contact your Income officer as soon as possible.
You can find your Income officer and their contact details by clicking on the following link: Find my Income officer.
Alternatively, you can email us as follows:
firstname.lastname@example.org if you live in Devon and Cornwall.
email@example.com if you live in Somerset and West of England.
Your Income officer will talk through your individual circumstances with you and offer advice on what to do next.
We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone and will endeavour to assist you as much as possible.
The following website also provides a lot of helpful information relating to your income and housing costs:
We have prepared some answers to questions we are being frequently getting asked about rent and other benefits which we hope you find useful:
Q. I am employed but I am unwell or self-isolating. What do I do about my rent?
A. If you are well enough to work, your employer may, if possible, allow you to work from home and your income should not be affected. However, if you are not well enough to work, your wages/salary could be affected.
Depending on your contract of employment, you may get sick pay, if not, you can claim statutory sick pay (SSP). You can find further information on which benefits you may be entitled to here.
Q. How do I make a claim for Universal Credit?
A. Do not delay in making a claim for benefit, even if you think you may be affected by coronavirus. Please contact your Income officer as soon as possible as they can support you and help prevent you getting into debt at the beginning of your claim.
You can make a claim for Universal Credit here.
If you need to make an appointment, please call the number provided when you submit your claim and explain your situation. Jobcentre Plus staff will be able to support you if you are required to stay at home.
If you need to claim Universal Credit because of the coronavirus, you will not be required to produce a fit note and can receive up to a month’s advance payment without attending a Jobcentre.
Q. My employer has asked me to take unpaid leave or the business I work for is closing. What do I do?
A. You can claim Universal Credit from the day your wage/salary ends.
For more information on how to claim universal credit please see above.
Q. I am self-employed but am unwell or self-isolating. What do I do?
A. You can claim Universal Credit.
For more information on how to claim Universal Credit please see above.
Q. I am in receipt of Housing Benefit, but my income has reduced because of coronavirus. What do I do?
A. We recommend that you contact the Housing Benefit team at your local authority and report your change in circumstances. You will also need to provide proof of income to evidence your change of circumstance.
Service charges FAQ's
Q. I currently pay a service charge. Will I still be required to pay this charge during the coronavirus crisis?
A. Yes, your service charge forms part of your overall rent and as part of your tenancy you need to pay it. However if you are struggling to pay because your income has changed or reduced due to the coronavirus crisis, you should contact your Income Officer to discuss your individual circumstances.
Q. I pay for services but these are currently not being provided as normal during the coronavirus crisis. Will I still have to pay the service charge?
A. Where a contractor does not deliver services during this period and they do not charge us, then your service charge will be adjusted when it is next calculated. If we have a contractual agreement to pay for services during the coronavirus crisis, then the service charge will still be payable. Your service charge is the same amount that we need to pay for the service to be completed.