COVID-19 Update for Tenants

Difficulties Paying Your Rent

We recognise that these are extremely tough times for tenants and landlords alike, so we would urge anyone struggling to pay their rent to contact us if this is the case.

Communication is vital under these circumstances as we can liaise with your landlord to try to arrange a payment plan given affordability. Please do try and pay as much as possible, as rental arrears accumulate and it will be much harder to repay larger sums in the long term.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Help is out there, by way of the Government Furlough scheme, please speak to your employer to find out if you are eligible for this.

More information can be found about this on the GOV.UK website here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The government has also released information about the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to help those who have lost income due to Coronavirus. This scheme offers a direct cash grant of 80% of profits up to £2500 per month for up to 3 months, subject to the relevant criteria.

For terms and conditions please take a look at the GOV.UK website

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Not all tenants will be affected by the Coronavirus. Those who are unaffected should continue to pay rent as normal as any rent that is deferred during this period will still be expected to be paid at a later date as part of a payment arrangement.

To avoid potentially unmanageable living costs in the future, tenants will be encouraged to pay their rent if they can afford it, and support will be provided in applying for assistance where it may be available.

Universal Credit

For further help, please contact the government universal credit team for advice on entitlements https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.

Please do speak to us throughout if you are having difficulties, so that we can keep your Landlord updated. We are here to help!

I’m due to move out of a property and have nowhere to go, what do I do?

If you have an imminent move scheduled and have nowhere to go due to the lockdown, please contact the office to discuss this. We are aware that Government guidelines are advising tenants to stay put and that no new tenancies should take place, so will liaise with your Landlord accordingly.

Please do be aware that you will be required to pay rent in the usual way for any extended periods on a tenancy.

Return of Keys & Deposits

If you have released the keys to us, at present we are unable to complete any inspections so there will be unavoidable delays in completing these, this may affect how quickly your deposit is returned. We will endeavour to get this arranged as soon as possible and any deposits returned where possible as a priority.

If you need any help or advice, please get in contact with a member of our lettings team by sending an email through to lettings@rushwittwilson.co.uk

What do I do if I am undergoing referencing for a new property and can’t move in?

As it stands the offices are currently closed, whilst we can carry on with all referencing in the background and arrange paperwork, we are unable to complete any face to face visits at this time.

You will be contacted to arrange an anticipated moving date once we have a clearer idea from the Government as to when normal business practice can resume.

Please do be aware though that this is ever-changing and so may have to be altered again dependent on the guidelines at the time – you will be kept updated throughout.

Please do rest assured that we are doing our best to get your move completed as soon as possible. If you no longer wish to go forward with the property, please contact the office.

How do I report and deal with maintenance whilst the lockdown is in force?

Maintenance can be reported in the usual way. For obvious reasons, only emergency maintenance will be handled during this time, with all non-urgent maintenance being logged and dealt with as soon as possible.

Please contact the office on the usual number – 01424 430011 or alternatively by email lettings@rushwittwilson.co.uk to report any problems.

Safety, Certification & Inspections

Gas safety certificates and other necessary certification will continue to be arranged unless you are self-isolating, or we are refused access and we are therefore unable to attend.

In these situations, we will need you to send us an email stipulating that you are in self-isolation, how long you are self-isolating for and the reasons why you are unable to allow access for the inspection to take place. This will then be rescheduled when you are out of isolation.

Routine six-monthly management inspections will not be carried out during this time and will be rescheduled to a later date. We are working to try and set up an app to send out to tenants as a way to provide us with an interim inspection & report any issues via your tablet or smartphone, however more details on this will follow in due course.

In the meantime, inspections will be rearranged and an alternative appointment will be given. This may also be subject to change.

Emergency Maintenance

If any emergency maintenance is required, then we will arrange this in the usual way. Please do not be alarmed if, on attendance, the designated tradesman requests that you stay out of the room that they are working in. This is to protect themselves and of course you. Your safety and our tradesmen’s safety is paramount at all times and social distancing should be in practiced at all times.

If you are unwell, please do also let us know so that we can reschedule to protect our tradesmen during this time.

For out of hours emergencies ONLY and when the office is closed, please contact 01424 834333. This service should only be used in a genuine emergency.

These are difficult times for everyone, but we are here to support you! Stay indoors & Stay safe.