The government has put in place a wide range of measures under the Corovavirus Act 2020 to support people whose earnings have been impacted by the pandemic. Find out more.

Six out of 10 renters are suffering financially as a result of the lockdown introduced to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

A fifth of those who have taken a hit say they have been forced to choose between buying food and paying their bills or paying their rent.

One in four have also either already voluntarily left their rental home to move in with family or friends or are trying to end their tenancy early.

Landlords are also worried, with three-quarters expressing concerns that their tenants may not be able to afford their rent, according to market researchers Opinium.

While the government has ruled out introducing a three-month rent holiday for tenants, similar to the mortgage payment holiday available to homeowners, it has put in place a range of support to help those who rent.

What support is available to renters?

The government has put in place measures to help prevent renters from losing their home, even if they are struggling to pay rent.

Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, eviction proceedings cannot be started against tenants in both the public and private sector for at least three months.

At the same time, mortgage lenders have included by-to-let landlords in eligibility for a mortgage payment holiday of up to three months, on the understanding that they will pass on the benefits to their tenants.

But both of these measures do not mean that tenants are let off paying rent for up to three months.

Instead, they should work with their landlords to establish a repayment plan once their finances improve.

Group of friends in a living room looking happy - Zoopla

What if my income has fallen?

Two schemes have been put in place to help people who have suffered a drop in their income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are employed by a company that has furloughed you, the government will step in and pay 80% of your salary up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, as long as your employer agrees to keep you on the payroll.

If you are a freelancer or self-employed, you can apply for a grant equivalent to 80% of your average monthly profit, also up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

Although the money will be backdated to March, it will not be made available until June at the earliest.

Is any other help available?

The universal credit allowance is being increased by £20 a week for all new and existing claimants.

The local housing allowance for people who are on low incomes, unemployed or claiming certain benefits has also been raised to the equivalent of at least the bottom 30% of market rents in the local area.

In addition, banks are allowing people to miss their monthly loan and credit card repayments without this impacting their credit rating, while some institutions are providing customers with interest-free overdrafts for a limited period.

What should I do if I am struggling financially?

If you think you may have problems paying your rent, it's important to talk to your landlord as soon as possible.

If you can afford to pay at least some of your rent, see if they will agree to accept a reduced amount for a limited period, although you will need to make up the rest later.

If you are able to move in with family and friends, you can talk to your landlord about ending your tenancy early.

But it is important to understand that if you are in the middle of a fixed term tenancy, you are contractually obliged to pay rent until the end of this period, unless there is a break clause in your tenancy agreement, or you landlord agrees to end the tenancy early.

Coronavirus: Get the latest property news and information

Top 3 takeaways

1. Six out of 10 renters are suffering financially as a result of the coronavirus lockdown i

2. A fifth of those who have taken a hit say they have been forced to choose between buying food and paying their bills or paying their rent, and a quarter have also either voluntarily left their rental home or are trying to end their tenancy early

3. The government has put in place a range of measures to help renters through the current situation

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