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Together We Can Beat Rent Debt

Hundreds of thousands of renters in our city are in debt to their landlord because of Coronavirus. The government says we still have to pay any rent we miss during this crisis, and that we can be evicted if we don’t once the temporary evictions ban is lifted. But our rents were already too high, and we just can’t afford to pay back missed payments on top.

We’re stronger together. Come to a LRU meeting or event. Learn and share with other renters. Help the LRU push the government to cancel rent debt and make the eviction ban permanent.

Renters need to get together and pressure the government to solve the rent debt crisis. Here are some steps we can take as individuals if we are already in debt:

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.

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. Your MP might be able to help you pressure your landlord to give you what you need to be safe.

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

5. Join a LRU meeting

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

We will send you an email soon about this.

It’s important to know that people who don’t pay their rent in full are at increased risk of eviction. You can read our full Q & A for any questions you might have.

We’re also encouraging people not to spend the money you may need for food and medicines on rent.

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.

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. 

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.