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Your rights as a renter during the COVID-19 crisis

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This article was last updated at 10.45am on 5 January 2021.

Note: The information on this page only applies to England. If you live in another part of the UK, please check local guidance here – Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused a lot of uncertainty for many of us. If you’re a renter, you might be feeling particularly vulnerable – what happens if you can’t pay your rent due to a sudden loss of income?

Can I be evicted?

Generally speaking, no. Landlords can currently only evict you for very serious, specific reasons – find out more about this on gov.uk.

What to do if you can't pay your rent

If you’re a tenant having difficulty with rent payments, have a chat with your landlord as soon as possible to explain the situation – don't just stop paying your rent. You can refer them to this gov.uk advice, which details what relief is being offered to protect both renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.

Moving house

As it stands, you can still move house - even during the January lockdown period. The government has advised to try and do this without help from those outside your household or support bubble if possible, but estate agents and removals firms will stay open.

Essentially you can move home if you need or wish to do so, but the process will need to be adapted to remain safe, limit face to face contact between different households, and ensure the risk of COVID-19 spreading is reduced as much as possible.

All parties involved should be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves if someone becomes ill during the process, or has to self isolate. The government are also recommending that initial viewings take place virtually for now. If you have to have any face-to-face contact with anyone outside your household during the moving process, you must maintain a 2 metre distance where possible and wash your hands frequently.

Video can be a great way of conducting virtual viewings or chatting to potential flatmates. You can also upload a video to your ad.

Back to all COVID-19 advice >>


Although we endeavour to keep our coronavirus (COVID-19) content as accurate and as up to date as possible, the situation is rapidly changing, so please ensure you refer to gov.uk for the latest advice and information.

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