Coronavirus and housing costs

Something that is going to be hard to cover if you’ve got a sudden drop in income and don’t have access to savings is your mortgage or rent payments.

If you have a mortgage

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You had until 31 March 2021 to apply for a coronavirus mortgage payment holiday.

If your payment holiday is now coming to an end, it’s important you understand what happens next and what your options are.

Find out what to do when your coronavirus mortgage payment holiday has come to an end.

If you’re still struggling to make your mortgage payments, there are some things you should do.

Find out what to do if you’re in mortgage arrears or have problems paying your mortgage.

If you’re renting

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If you’re renting in England, evictions have been suspended until 21 February 2021. Your landlord must give you six months’ notice of eviction until the end of May 2021, other than in the most serious cases.

Evictions will not be enforced in areas subject to a local lockdown and will not take place over the Christmas period.

Find out more on the Shelter website.

In Scotland, evictions were initially stopped for six months and the Scottish government is proposing extending this until 30 September 2021.

Find out more on the Shelter Scotland website.

In Wales, evictions have been suspended until 30 June 2021 and your landlord must give you six months’ notice of an eviction.

Find out more on the Shelter Cymru website.

If you’re a private renter in Wales and are already in arrears, or might struggle to pay your rent because of coronavirus, you might also be eligible for a Tenancy Saver Loan.

This loan will have to be repaid over a period of up to five years and you will be charged interest of 1%.

You will not be eligible for a loan if you’re currently getting Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit.

Find out more about eligibility for the Tenancy Saver Loan and apply on the Gov.Wales website.

In Northern Ireland, until 30 September 2021, you must be given 12 weeks’ notice of an eviction.

Find out more on the NI Direct website.

If you’re living in a buy-to-let property, your landlord will be able to apply for the three-month mortgage payment holiday if you are experiencing financial difficulty so they shouldn’t put any pressure on you to meet rent payments during this time.

If you’re still unable to meet rent payments after three months, your landlord should take every step to ensure that you continue to stay in your home. They will be expected to take into account your financial circumstances and try and work an affordable repayment plan with you before they start any proceedings.

If you’re a social housing tenant, talk to your tenancy support officer or housing officer who will be able to support you and work out an affordable repayment plan.

If you’re on Universal Credit and usually pay the rent yourself, talk to your work coach about what they can do to support you to keep rent payments on track.

Our guide Rent arrears and problems paying your rent can help you think about what to say to your landlord.

If you’re worried about paying your Council Tax

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Council Tax payments are a priority debt and missing payments can quickly become a serious problem. It’s a bill that you should always make sure you pay on time if you can.

If you think you won’t be able to pay your Council Tax, make sure you tell your local council before you miss a payment. They will be able to help you if they know, particularly if it is because of coronavirus. It’s also important you keep talking to them, especially if they decide to start chasing non-payments again.

To find out what support is available in your area, contact your local council or visit their website.

Council Tax Reduction

If you’re claiming Universal Credit or you’re now on a very low income, you might be able to get some help towards paying your Council Tax.

Each local council has its own Local Council Tax Reduction scheme, so you will need to apply to them directly.

Most councils won’t backdate payments. So if you’re claiming Universal Credit for the first time, don’t waste any time. Make sure you apply for a reduction as soon as you’ve made your claim.

You can apply to your local council for Local Council Tax Reduction on GOV.UK{:target=”_blank”}.

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