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City landlords urged to show compassion to struggling tenants

Published on Thursday, 20th August 2020

Norwich landlords are being urged to do all they can to support tenants who may be struggling to pay their rent due to coronavirus.

As the government’s ban on eviction is lifted next week, Norwich landlords are being urged to do all they can to support tenants who may be struggling to pay their rent due to coronavirus.

In March, central government imposed a temporary ban on all evictions, but has now confirmed that court hearings and orders can proceed from 24 August.

As a housing authority for the city, Norwich City Council is committed to upholding tenants’ right and supporting landlords to maintain tenancies wherever possible.

The council's housing options team, which offers help and guidance to those facing homelessness, has seen a rise in people seeking housing advice due to the financial impact of Covid-19 – and is concerned about the impact on renters once the eviction ban is lifted.

Cabinet member responsible for private sector housing, Councillor Beth Jones said:
“We recognise that like their tenants, many city landlords are also experiencing financial hardship due to Covid-19 and appreciate everything they have done so far to support tenants during this difficult time.

“We urge Norwich landlords to continue to show flexibility and support to tenants whose income has been affected by coronavirus and to see eviction as an absolute last resort. If you are not able to come to an agreement with your tenant to help them stay on, please urge them to get in contact with us, or do so yourself, so we can assist.”

“We are committed to assertively upholding tenants’ rights as demonstrated by our charter for private sector tenants, impacted by either Covid-19 or other concerns in the future.”

Landlords are being urged to follow the below advice to maintain tenancies where-ever possible:

1. Talk to your tenant to find out the cause of non-payment of rent

2. Arrange an agreement in terms of paying back unpaid rent

3. Reduce rent where you are able until your tenant can resume paying back the full rental amount

4. Contact the council. If you can’t come to an agreement, then you or your tenant should contact us. Our housing options team can offer support and advice, plus information on grants available to keep tenancies going.

Further advice and information