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Shelter advising tenants on winning a rent reduction

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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    It would depend on tenant demand in the area, might work in London, wouldn't work in Norwich at the present time.

  • Mark Wilson

    Easier not to pay the rent. In most cases what can a Landlord do in any event? I don't readily understand a tenant can agree to pay of arrears when they may not have a job or the income level as before. Hollow promises doomed to failure.


    Perhaps Shelter and others who claim to want to help tenants should advise them to get real, live within their means and avoid racking up unaffordable debts in the first place?

    If that means moving to cheaper accommodation or in with family or friends then surely that is what they should advise tenants to negotiate about and achieve an amicable agreement to waive the remaining lease term and accept loss of deposit to cover any rent arrears and early termination of lease?

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    Re: Shelter are you mad why are you campaigning for Rent Reductions at a time of serious Arrears. I have some in arrears since January (before Corona & continuing) in 2 of the most serious cases at least, now amounting to many thousands of £'s, although they do pay some money, arrears Increasing each month by £300 / £400. in each case plus some others can't pay full, so what's the Reduction Campaign for with their £60m Charity Status annual pot to supply nothing.

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    Compliant LL are folding because they have been unfairly targeted and over loaded with Regulations which is not sustainable. Non-compliant LL's still prosper as do Benefit LL and their Tenants. I do not know of any of them having a short fall.

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    I think people should reduce the charitable donations to shelter and give them to a homeless charity. Shelter the Business that houses nobody. Do your research and see how many fat salaries are paid to by this organisation with donated cash.If you are a charitable person make sure your generosity is getting to those you want to help and not funding an executive life style for a few vocal privileged individuals.


    Agreed, but isn't this true of most charities these days, very little gets to the genuine cause .


    I’m in full agreement with you Andrew as I generally am . It was focusing on them as they seem to get so much from focusing on us. What gets my goat with this particular charity is there are many because of there title that believe they house people in need. This really needs to shown for the trogon horse it is.

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    Agree I used always give to Charities but not anymore. I even used to have a standing order for water for Africa but when I see some of their wealthy fellow Country men in this Town you wouldn't get a penny out of them, we live & learn.

  • English Landlord

    Shelter are a total disgrace, avoid them like the plague, donate nothing to their fat salaries from donated cash. All they care about is helping scroungers to avoid paying their rent. Instead of Tenants spending their income on Iphones, cigarettes, alcohol and netflix they should start to live within their means like most Landlords. If Tenants are able to pay rent in arrears then Landlords should be able to waive the remaining lease term and to cover any rent arrears with the deposit as well as terminate the lease earlier.

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    As usual, Shelter speaks and the media are all over it. On the rare occasion that NRLA speaks, no one listens, what is the point of an association that is silent.

    Mark Wilson

    The NRLA is a pointless organization, I agree.

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    Well its easy to knock NRLA but who else have got ? apart from no one. We can Blog on here all we can and tell it how it is but there is no one taking a blind bit of notice of us, probably having a laugh at us.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    There are a lot of smaller Landlord Associations, many who have more 'balls' than the NRLA.
    What's needed is a PRS Association comprising members of the Fair Possession Coalition.
    It widens landlords voices to include ARLA and gives landlords more power.
    It also goes some way to taking the monopoly away from NRLA ( a monopoly they are not making constructive use of, merely to generate more income from Members. )

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    • 08 December 2020 08:27 AM

    If it is all we have, then WE should get together en masse and get the NRLA to start working on our behalf.

    If we can get a 10,000 thousand members (they have 85,0000, to cancel their subscription for a year, I bet that will wake them up to start some effective action!!!!

    What the hell do they actually do with the 85,000 * £75pa = £6,375,000,00 income every year. Looks like a lot of people there are screwing many, many Landlords.

    What do any of you ever get from them?


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