Your Rent and Coronavirus

ELHA SPRITE Mask

Published: 31/03/2020

We know that this is a strange and difficult time for everyone, and that some of our tenants are really going to need our help to manage their rent payments.  That’s why it is so important that every other tenant who can still pay their rent does their bit and continues to pay it.  Otherwise we won’t be able to help anyone!

We’re proud to be an independent housing association, based in East Lothian, and we’re here solely to make sure our tenants can continue to live in our safe, secure homes.  We do not get any public money towards our running costs, and we rely on our rental income to survive – it makes up almost all of our income.

We will help every tenant who needs our assistance with getting their rent paid.  We have extended our online Live Help hours at elha.com, and our staff are now available 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, (4.00pm on Fridays).  If your income has gone down or even gone completely, don’t wait, don’t ignore it – we can help, right now.

Many of our tenants though will not see a change to their normal income, and will continue to receive their wages, welfare benefits or pensions as normal.  We need these tenants to continue to make their rent payments.  For our Association, that is as important a response in this crisis as it is to follow the government advice – please keep doing your bit to help all our tenants in your community by maintaining your rent payments if you can.

What About a Rent Holiday?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing.  It is also very unlikely that the government would ever introduce one, since Universal Credit and other welfare benefits ensure that rental payments for affordable rented homes can always be met.  This sort of support is available to people with mortgages – but don’t be fooled – a “mortgage holiday” is not free money, it simply defers mortgage payments for a period of time, which then have to be made up later.  It also means the total amount of interest that homeowner pays will increase in the longer term, as the loan will now take longer to pay off, and so more interest will be charged.

If you have lost income, don’t miss your rent and think it will be OK.  Contact us instead and we will help you get the money you need to make your rent payment.

First Timers and Not Sure if they Should Botherus-ers

Don’t think twice about whether to contact us or not – just go to elha.com and use our Live Help service, or call 01620 825032.  We have also increased the hours of our Money Advice Service, and our Housing Team are all still working and ready to help.

If you can’t pay your rent, then do your bit and contact us so we can help.  We appreciate that some of our tenants will never have been in this position before.  There is nothing to be embarrassed about, this situation is no-one’s fault.  And although our staff are busy (so please be patient if we take a little while to answer), it’s what we do, and our services and always friendly, free and confidential.

The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get your issue sorted.

What Else can we Help With?

It’s not just welfare benefits, we can talk to you about practical issues like adjusting your rent payment days or about any support packages the Government may put in place to cover missed earnings.  We can also talk to you about any financial questions or difficulties, including any worries about managing gas or electricity payments, as well as a wide range of housing and tenancy related issues. 

We Can Do This!

If our tenants and staff all pull together, we can make sure everyone living in one of our homes can get through this.  Your My Home account is available 24 hours a day, or you can contact us through Live Help at elha.com, by email to info@elha.com, or call us on 01620 825032.  

We will try our best to help with anything that you need just now and, if we can't help directly, we will try to put you in touch with someone who can.

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