COVID-19 - Housing

Last updated: 6 April 2022 at 8.32am

We are working hard to minimise disruption to our services as a result of the coronavirus situation. Some services are operating differently in line with official advice from the government. We will keep this under constant review and update this page accordingly.

Contacting us
Contact the Housing and Social Inclusion Team or call 01256 844844.

Our telephone line is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

What happens if my landlord wants to evict me?

If you're a private tenant, your landlord can only ask you to leave by serving one of two notices.

A Section 21 notice is commonly referred to as a "no-fault eviction" as your landlord doesn't need to give a reason for evicting you under this notice.

With a Section 8 notice, landlords must provide and prove grounds for asking you to leave.

If you have been served either notice please contact us for advice and assistance as soon as possible so we can advise you further.

What if my landlord pressures me to leave without serving notice?

If you feel your landlord is pressuring you to leave without serving notice, please contact us immediately using the details below. We can offer advice and assistance to both you and your landlord to ensure that the correct legal process is followed. Please contact us even if you think the eviction seems avoidable.

It is illegal for your landlord to:

  • harass you
  • lock you out of your home, even temporarily
  • make you leave without notice or a court order.

Our Landlord Liaison team can offer your landlord correct advice and assistance in these circumstances and we can help advocate for you too.

Read the guidance on challenging an illegal eviction, and on what the council can do to help.

How soon could I face eviction?

Your landlord can only start court action once your notice period ends. But please contact us using the details below if you have any concerns.

When can the court stop an eviction?

If your landlord has served a section 21 notice the court can usually only stop the process if the notice is incorrect.

If your landlord has served a section 8 notice and needs to prove a legal reason for eviction, such as rent arrears, the court can sometimes let you stay in your home if you keep to certain conditions.

In either case, we can advise you if your notice is correct and what will happen next, so please contact us using the details below.

Can I get emergency housing if I need to leave my home?

We will provide or help you secure emergency housing if you have nowhere safe to stay and may be in priority need.

Priority need means:

  • you have children dependent upon you for accommodation
  • you or someone you live with is pregnant
  • you can show that you are vulnerable, for example due to having been in care or because of serious illness.

Even if you are not in priority need we can help you secure accommodation and you should make contact with us

Search for hostels, if you are sofa surfing or running out of options.

For further advice please contact our housing advice team via the Contact Us form, call 01256 844844 or email

Meeting essential bills post COVID-19

Please find below a link to government advice for those having difficulty with rent payments, mortgage payments or utility bills as a result of the current pandemic.

Advice for people struggling to pay essential bills because of coronavirus

Rough sleepers

We encourage residents to report any concerns they may have about rough sleepers. You can report a person who you think is rough sleeping via the StreetLink website or by calling 0300 500 0914.

If the person needs urgent medical attention please dial 999 for an ambulance.

The Real Change website offers further information in relation to support available for rough sleepers and the work of our partners - Real change not loose change - RealChange (

Frequently asked questions

I can't pay my rent, what should I do?
  • Speak with your landlord at the earliest opportunity. They are likely to be more understanding if you keep them informed and may be willing to agree a payment plan to pay off arrears at a later date.
  • If a payment plan is agreed it is important you both stick to this and you talk to your landlord immediately if you are unable to do so.
  • Even if you can’t pay the full amount, pay what you can to minimise the arrears.
  • Advice is available from special providers such as Shelter, Citizen’s Advice and Money Advice Service.
  • You may be eligible for the housing element of Universal Credit to help towards paying your rent.
I can't pay my mortgage. What should I do?

You should contact your mortgage lender. Mortgage lenders may agree to offer payment holidays of up to three months when this is needed due to Coronavirus-related hardship. The sum owed remains and mortgages continue to accrue interest during this period. This is in addition to lenders usual forbearance options.

I can’t pay my mortgage and live in a shared-ownership property. What should I do?

You should contact your mortgage lender if you are struggling to pay your mortgage as a result of Covid-19 and ask for a payment holiday. If you are unable to pay the rent element you must speak with your landlord immediately. Find out if you are eligible for Universal Credit to cover some or all of the rent element.

I'm self-employed. What help is available for me?

Under the self-employed income support scheme, the State will pay 80% of average profits up to £2500pcm (provided total annual profits do not exceed £50,000). The average profit is based on earnings in the three tax years up to April 2019. Find out specific advice for self-employed people.

Can I still make an application to join the Housing Register?

Applications can be made through the Homebid site.

If you are not able to apply online, please contact the Housing Team for a paper application.

If I am unable to print an application form, can it be emailed to me?

Yes. Please contact if you would like a paper copy emailed to you.

If I am accepted on to the Housing Register, how will this be confirmed?

We are advising applicants of the outcome of their application via email. If you have not provided an email address or you do not have one, then we will call you.

I have a non-urgent repair at my property. What should I do?

Inform your landlord at the earliest opportunity and engage constructively with them. Most remaining restrictions will be lifted on 19 July 2021 however trades may be facing a backlog of work causing delays.

What if my boiler breaks or something else happens which is an urgent risk to my health?

Landlord’s repair obligations have not changed and, where reasonable, safe for you, and in line with Government guidance you should give your landlord/contractor access to inspect or remedy urgent safety issues.

I am a landlord and my tenant is unable to pay rent. What can I do?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question as each tenant’s circumstances are different. At this time it is important to be flexible and have open conversations with the tenant at the earliest opportunity to try and agree a sensible way forward. The tenant may be able to claim Universal Credit to cover some or all of the rent. Read guidance for landlords and tenants for more information.

What does the current situation mean for property repairs?
  • Landlords’ repair obligations have not changed. Tenants have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live and it is in the best interest of both tenants and landlords to ensure that properties are kept in good repair and free from hazards.
  • Landlords should make every effort to abide by existing gas safety regulations which came into force on 1 July 2020.
  • If you are not able to gain access to a property, or are unable to engage a contractor to carry out work, you should document your attempts to do so and all correspondence with your tenant.
  • Read guidance on visiting properties to make repairs.

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Friday
    8.30am to 4.30pm
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