Covid-19 and Renting-What do I do?
At a time when thousands of people face unemployment or reduced working hours due to the Covid-19 crisis, it is understandable that many of you will be concerned about paying rent.
The Government have recently announced several new measures to help those in the private rental sector in order to tackle this issue. These measures include a blanket ban on tenancy terminations and rent increases, as well as increased social welfare payment and rental support supplements. These measures should assist tenants who may be having trouble paying their rent and making ends meet.
For any of our tenants who are impacted and need to apply for any of these measures, we would be happy to help with any information required for forms that need be filled out.
Covid-19 Payment-What you need to know
- The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week.
- It is offered to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) March 13 due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
- This payment is available for those between 18 and 66 who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 limitations.
- Students, non-EEA nationals and part-time workers are eligible to apply for the payment too.
- If you left your employment or self-employment voluntarily or do not meet the above criteria, you cannot claim the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
- To apply for the payment, you will need to fill out a form which you can access here, as well as receive details on how to submit it.
Short Term Rent Supplement
Citizens advice have published some very useful information on their website in relation to the rent supplement. Their advice is that-
- While tenants are expected to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rent Supplement is available to you if you are struggling to pay.
- If you are a tenant and you have problems with your rent payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should engage with your landlord as soon as possible.
- Rent Supplement is available as a short-term income support to those in the private rented sector who are having difficulties paying their rent.
- As many people in the private rented sector have lost significant employment income, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will use full flexibility of the scheme to provide the any support that is necessary.
Housing Assistance Payment
The methods created to reduce the spreading of COVID-19 will not alter the payment of rents under the HAP scheme.
HAP Tenancies and changes in financial circumstances as a result of Covid-19:
- If a HAP tenant does not experience any change to their income due to COVID-19, there should be no change to the scheme– HAP payments will continue to be made to the landlord and the tenant’s differential rent will continue to be collected.
- If a HAP tenant does experience a change in income due to COVID-19, prior to contacting their relevant local authority, those tenants should contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and apply for the relevant income supports.
For more information, you can visit the Citizens Information website by clicking here.
If you have any other questions or concerns, our phone lines are open, and we are answering our emails. There is no doubt this is an uncertain and worrying time for all of us, but every day is one day closer to normality again. We hope all our clients and tenants are safe and well, and we urge you to follow the recommended government guidelines.