The campaigning charity Shelter is offering private rental sector tenants advice on how to negotiate a rent reduction during the remaining period of the pandemic.
The advice appears in an article on Vice, an online publication aimed at young readers.
The Shelter advice comes in the form of a response to a reader’s request for information on how to reduce their rent following a cut in their income thanks to Covid 19.
The initial part of Shelter’s guidance is emphatic that any reduction should be negotiated by email and definitely not through a verbal conversation.
“Make sure you get any agreement in writing, including how long it will apply and whether any outstanding rent will be paid back later … When you contact your landlord, start by explaining to them why you’re struggling with your rent. If your income has reduced for specific reasons, let them know. Most landlords are likely to be sympathetic and receptive” says the advice.
“It’s also worth being clear about what you want the outcome of negotiations to be – so be straightforward about what rent you think you can afford and what conditions will apply if they do agree to a reduction” it continues.
There is also a suggestion that a tenant should show some understanding about the landlord’s position - although Vice itself says in the article ”I know this will be the last thing you feel like considering.”
However, the Shelter advice is more conciliatory and says: “Being understanding about your landlord’s situation is likely to help, too … Your landlord will probably have outgoings that your rent would usually cover, so it’s good to show you understand this.”
It concludes by saying: “Most landlords’ concern is that the full rent will eventually be paid, so offer them reassurance about this if you can. If you can also let them know what steps you’re taking to stabilise your income, they may be more willing to come to an agreement.”
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