Template letter to send to your landlord

Worried about paying your rent during the Coronavirus? Angry at how the government is failing renters? You’re not alone. Join the Cant Pay Won’t Pay campaign here.

You can use the text below 

En Español

Template letter to send to your landlord to ask for a rent reduction/debt forgiveness during the Coronavirus pandemic

Dear X

We’re watching developments about COVID-19 very closely and are, as you might imagine, really concerned. We rely on our wages to pay our rent and our income has been badly effected.

[add more details about your work/wage situation – make it as personal as you feel comfortable to.]

There are plenty of landlords who are worried about the containment of Covid-19 and are therefore allowing their tenants to suspend rent payments at this time. The advice from public health experts is that as many people as possible need to stay at home – and not go out and seek non-essential work – in order to successfully contain the virus, reduce the number of people dying and to ensure that the health service that we all rely to survive, isn’t completely overwhelmed.

Recently published Government guidelines state that as part of our “national effort” to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak it’s “important that landlords offer support and understanding to tenants who may start to see their income fluctuate” and that this should “include accept[ing] a lower level of rent” . It also states that “where tenants have difficulty paying rent over this period, we ask that landlords do not issue a notice seeking possession, particularly given that the tenant may be sick or facing other hardship due to COVID-19”.

As you will have heard, the government has announced a three month mortgage holiday for all landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus – so that they can pass this “holiday” on to their tenants. With millions of renters across the country in a difficult position, the government and the National Residential Landlords Association are asking landlords to show compassion. For these reasons, we kindly request a suspension of payments until the situation improves.

[You can either ask for all rent payments to be waived until after the crisis or a reduction. If you’re asking for a rent reduction, you should work out what you can afford to pay in rent over the next 3-6 months once you have met your basic needs such as food and medicine. You could start by offering what you can afford to pay.]

We hope, for ourselves and for everyone’s sake, that life becomes more stable as soon as possible. Until then, it seems all we can do is be pragmatic, avoid panic, and support each other as best we can. We hope you can consider this. Do let us know if speaking on the phone would be helpful.

Looking forward to hearing your response.
Best wishes from us all

Please do join the London Renters Union. It costs just £4 per month, its free if you’re unemployed, and it is only by joining forces that renters can win the housing system we need.


We’re a members-led, campaigning union and we’re taking action to make sure all Londoners have a decent, affordable and secure home. Join our community today and become part of the movement to transform the housing system.

Get updates

Follow us on social media or sign up for updates to get information about meetings, events and actions in your area. By filling out the form below, you are giving us permission to send you emails and store your information as described in our privacy policy.