COVID-19: Tips for negotiating with your landlord

Tuesday 14-04-2020 - 16:53

Our Advice Service has put together some useful guidance to help you if you are currently trying to get an early release from your tenancy agreement, a rent reduction or a rent holiday.

Here’s a few tips on how to negotiate with your landlord:

#1- Check (and double check) your tenancy agreement

Make sure to double check that your tenancy agreement doesn’t include a break clause (most don’t but it's worth checking). If it does, contact our Students’ Union Advice Service with a copy of your agreement. We’ll offer advice on how to implement the break clause.

If your tenancy agreement doesn’t have a break clause or if you are still living in the property and struggling to pay your rent, then it’s important that you communicate with your landlord at the earliest opportunity.
 

#2 – Include all the information in your letter

When writing to your landlord, you should include the following information:

• An outline of your circumstances, including if you have moved out, become ill or are struggling to pay the full rent whilst you remain in the property.

• If you have specific reasons why you are unable to meet rent payments, such as unemployment due to COVID-19 precautions or an illness.

• Include any relevant dates. For example, when your course changed to online provision, when you moved out of your property, or when you were made redundant.

 

#3- Get feedback on your draft

It’s always good to ask someone for feedback before sending something important. If you want your letter to be checked by us before you send it, send a draft to the Students Union Advice Service at suadvice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk. Include a copy of your tenancy agreement in your email for us to refer to.

 

#4 – Keep records of your communication

Ensure that all communication with your landlord or letting agent is in writing (email is fine but avoid communicating via text message/phone). Keep hold of them for your own records.

If your desired outcome is a rent holiday and your landlord responds negatively to your request, please forward a copy of your correspondence to the Students’ Union Advice Service at suadvice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk for further advice.

 

#5 – Offer different options to your landlord

We are aware that many students have moved home and will not be returning to their accommodation. The desirable outcome for most students is to be released from their tenancy without financial penalties.

However, it is likely that landlords won't be willing to agree to this and so you might want to suggest one of the other options below to them if they refuse to release you from your tenancy agreement.
 

Possible outcomes after sending your letter:
 

· You might get released from your tenancy agreement early without any financial penalties.

· You might be offered a rent reduction - An agreed reduction of your rent paid on the original payment dates.

· You might be allowed a rent holiday – This would pause your payments for an agreed period. However, you would have to pay the full amount later this year.

 

If your circumstances change, communicate that new information to your landlord. They might change their mind on any initial decisions they have made.
 

Read more in our accommodation update at www.leedsbeckettsu.co.uk/accommodation-update. Please note the advice on this page may change, particularly if there are changes to the law.

 

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