Housing Benefit Two Homes PaymentIf moving home and you need to pay rent for both the old home and the new home for a short period, it is possible to receive Housing Benefit for two homes temporarily. Check out the links page for more information.
Local Housing AllowanceHousing benefit for private tenants is called LHA – Scotland Local Housing Allowance: The ‘bedroom tax 2’ background information
The Private Residential Tenancy (Scotland only)Summary: from the Chartered Institute of Housing Summary: from Shelter
The Warm Home DiscountMany people don’t realise they’re eligible for this. It’s provided through your energy provider so check out their website and see if a) you can apply b) you’re eligible. It’s a discount on your energy bill, even if you use a coin operated meter. Check out our links page under ‘Fuel poverty’.
Living RentScotland’s Tenants’ Union.
Spencer & Leigh Make Legal Threats Against a Tenant with Young Children: Brighton SolFed Opens a Dispute
Brighton Solidarity Federation has started a dispute with the lettings agency Spencer & Leigh in Patcham. A tenant has been organising with SolFed after £510 was withheld from her deposit in order to change a lock and to have the property professionally cleaned. The tenant left the property secure at the end of her tenancy, and she also had it professionally cleaned prior to vacating it. The letter from the solicitor is an attempt to intimidate a tenant with young children out of taking action for the return of her deposit – money that, as any tenant will know, is much needed and in short supply. We’re not surprised by these legal threats – anyone who has ever dealt with a landlord or letting agency will know that it is an industry that functions via bullying and intimidation. Indeed, the tenant experienced this during her tenancy, which was cut short and her request for flexibility ignored.
Coronavirus InformationNo Evictions Living Rent tenants’ union write:
The Scottish Government has (finally) moved to ban all evictions following on from a successful campaign from Living Rent. The Scottish Government have promised that it will mean that no one is losing their home because of the pandemic. The legislation banning evictions has changed the notice period required for landlords to evict, the legislation will be in place for 6 months from April 7th (so at least until the end of September) and can be extended in 2 month blocks depending on the crisis. It applies to all tenants in Scotland in the private and social sectors. https://www.livingrent.org/covid_19_faqsPlease see Shelter’s website for the changes to required notice periods. If your landlord tells you to leave your flat, you should stay put and refer them to the legal changes introduced during the Coronavirus crisis here. If they are still trying to make you leave – this is illegal – you should get in touch with Living Rent’s Member Defence Coordinator ASAP. Can’t Afford the Rent? Living Rent is fighting for a rent waiver for all tenants. And Living Rent advise:
If you are not able to pay your rent, we would advise you to notify your landlord of your financial situation immediately in writing (e-mail), explaining your change of situation and negotiate a rent suspension or a rent reduction. Join Living Rent, and get in contact with a Living Rent Member Defence team, who can support you during this negotiation. The best way to negotiate with your landlord is with your Union by your side. https://www.livingrent.org/covid_19_faqsHygiene Kills The Virus Campaign Living Rent is demanding the Scottish Government act to ensure social landlords properly clean all communal areas. Check out ‘A study of the multi-storey blocks in Muirhouse during the Covid-19 pandemic‘. Living Rent Covid-19 FAQ’s, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook @livingrentedinburgh, Living Rent Website. Rent & Benefits The Child Poverty Action Group report:
In addition, the worker’s support package includes an announcement that there will be, ‘Nearly £1bn of additional support for renters, through increases in the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit. From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.’ Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Regulations 2020, SI 2020 No.371, regulation 4Information on COVID-19 & Housing Eviction information from Shelter.