Council rent-free weeks 2020: When are the rent-free weeks?
Council tenants can be given a chance to save their homes despite the coronavirus pandemic with a number of support packages issued by the Government. One such initiative is to rent free weeks for the 2020 to 2021 financial year. So when are the rent-free weeks for this period?
As the coronavirus outbreak hit and spread across the UK, many people have lost their jobs as businesses have been forced to close.
Almost one million people signed up for Universal Credit in the past two weeks.
The Department for Work and Pensions said 950,000 successful applications for the payment were made between March 16, when people were advised to work from home, and the end of the month.
Typically, the department would expect 100,000 claims in that period.
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Mortgage repayments can be deterred for those experiencing financial difficulties amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Those struggling may be entitled to a mortgage or rental holiday for three months.
This includes landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial hardship amid the COVID-19 crisis.
If you are a tenant experiencing financial struggles, the Government will ensure you do not face the threat of eviction for at least three months.
The Government has agreed to the following:
- Mortgage lenders will offer repayment holidays of three months to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19, which is also applicable to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties.
- The offer of a payment holiday can be made available to customers who are up to date with payments and not already in arrears.
- Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should contact their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them
- Emergency legislation will be taken forward so landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three month period.
- The emergency eviction legislation also applies to private and social renters at the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.
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In a bid to support renters, the Government has apportioned nearly £1billion of support for renters.
The amount you can currently get in local housing allowance depends on where you live and what kind of accommodation you live in.
You can check current local housing allowance rates for your area using this DirectGov tool here.
Local housing allowance has been frozen for several years, but the Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak recently announced your local housing allowance will cover at least the bottom 30 percent of market rents in your area, according to your housing type.
As a council tenant, your rent must be paid weekly for 48 weeks of the year.
The remaining weeks of the year are known as rent-free weeks.
Additionally, some local authorities have brought forward its rent-free weeks for the 2020/2021 financial year.
The City of Lincoln Council has said none of its tenants will lose their home during the coronavirus outbreak.
The council has also brought forward its rent-free weeks to April 6 and April 13, 2020, instead of over the Christmas and New Year period.
What are your rent-free weeks for 2020/2021?
Rent-free weeks differ depending on your location and subsequently your local authority.
You can find your local authority here.
You are advised to check your rent-free weeks for the year with your council.
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