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Withholding Your Rent To Prioritise Essentials

Like many other organisations, the LRU encourages its members not to spend the money you may need for food and medicines on rent. People who don’t pay their rent in full are at increased risk of eviction (see our full Know Your Rights section).

We’re currently trying to get as many people who are struggling with their rent together as part of the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign.

The courts were already blocked up with eviction cases before this crisis. If tens of thousands of us withheld rent together, the government and landlords couldn’t evict us and would have to negotiate.

At present, we don’t think we’ve got enough people together to make it much safer for individual renters to withhold their rent. Find out how you can help build the campaign over at our Get Involved page. Join one of our meetings or events to find out more.

Renters need to get together and pressure the government to solve the rent debt crisis. Here are some steps you can take if you’re struggling with your rent right now:

1. Talk to your landlord.

Use our template rent forgiveness letter to ask your landlord to reduce your rent and forgive any debt you are already in. Once you sign up to the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign, we’ll send you a copy of the template letter by email.

You should work out what you can afford to pay in rent once you have met your basic needs such as food and medicine. You could start by offering what you can afford to pay. Thousands of renters have already used our letter to get a rent reduction, with many even winning a complete suspension of rent payments.

2. Make sure you’re getting all the financial support you are entitled to from the government.

Turn2Us provides useful information and calculators.

3. Apply for a discretionary housing payment.

These are small extra payments that councils can provide to people already receiving housing benefit or universal credit to help with housing costs.

The charity Shelter has a useful guide on how to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

4. Let your MP know about your situation.

We need MPs to be shouting loudly and clearly about the crisis facing renters.

You can use our simple tool to write to your MP.

5. Join a LRU meeting

Renters in debt are coming together to share experiences and learn negotiation skills.

We will send you an email soon about this.

What to do next

Get involved

We can win, but we need you to get involved in your local area.

Find out more over at our Get Involved page

Tell your friends right now

Share the campaign on social media.

Join a London Renters Union training

We’ll email you soon with details of meetings and training where you can find out more about the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign and about your rights.

Join the London Renters Union

You can join the London Renters Union today for just £4 per month.

It’s free if you don’t have an income at the moment.

We’ll call you to share information on your rights and invite you to meetings where you can get support.

Join Now If you don’t have an income, you can join for free here.