Campaigners issue ‘rent stop’ letter template for tenants to send landlords

London Renters Union ignores government advice that both sides should agree a payment plan and instead the letter urges landlords to allow their tenants to stop paying their rent.
Housing campaign group the London Renters Union has published a letter that the organisation urges renters to use in order to negotiate a rent suspension with their landlord.

Written in a somewhat breezy style given the ramifications for landlords if they were to let their tenant stop paying their rent, it also ignores the government’s advice, which is that tenants who are struggling should agree a payment plan with their landlord.

The guidance says: “An early conversation between landlord and tenant can help both parties to agree a plan if tenants are struggling to pay their rent.

“This can include reaching a temporary agreement not to seek possession action for a period of time and instead accept a lower level of rent or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date.”

The letter also assumes a somewhat bleak financial for the renter sending the letter, accepting that they are living ‘from paycheck to paycheck’.

This is the missive that the London Renters Union is urging tenants to download and send to their landlords.

The Letter

“Dear X

We hope you’re keeping well in these really strange and fast-changing circumstances!

We’re watching developments about COVID-19 very closely and are, as you might imagine, really concerned.

We work in ________ and live paycheck to paycheck each month. We’re going to be earning much less over the coming months.

We rarely have more than one month’s rent available at any one moment.

[Add more details about your situation – make it as personal as you feel comfortable to]

For these reasons, we kindly request a suspension of payments until the situation improves.

Many renters across the country are in a similar situation. As you might have heard, the government has announced a three month mortgage holiday for all landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

The government and the National Residential Landlords Association are asking landlords to show compassion.

We hope, for ourselves and for everyone’s sake, that life becomes more stable as soon as possible. Until then, it seems all we can do is be pragmatic, avoid panic, and support each other as best we can. We hope you can consider this.

Do let us know if speaking on the phone would be helpful.

Looking forward to hearing your response.

Best wishes from us all.”

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