Information for landlords and tenants in private rented accommodation

Live with it safely

Here’s some useful housing advice and information for landlords and tenants in private rented accommodation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) period.

The UK Government has produced a non-statutory guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities in the private and social rented sectors in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Salford Property Link free advice line for landlords

The Salford Property Link Advice Line for private rented accommodation landlords.

Are you considering giving notice to your tenants? Do you need help with?

  • Rent arrears.
  • Mediation between you and your tenants.
  • Communication issues.

For free assistance call The Salford Property Link Advice Line 0161 793 2626 or email

We’re offering a free specialist service for private rented accommodation landlords considering seeking possession in Salford. We recognise the importance of an early intervention working with both the landlord and tenant to prevent homelessness.

Our new specialist service is free of charge and available to assist landlords who are looking to serve notice on their tenants. The aim of this service is to give landlords all the help and assistance they need to prevent an s21 or s8 notice being issued.

The help and advice we can offer includes:

  • A personalised housing plan agreed with the tenant.
  • Rent arrears assistance through housing benefit services, Universal Credit, local government homeless prevention funds.
  • A financial assessment of tenants to maximise income.
  • Referrals and signposting to specialist services for more long-term support should the need be identified.
  • A mediation service between landlords, tenants and local authorities.

We recognise that eviction is often the last resort for a landlord and is a costly process. We are committed to preventing homelessness at the earliest opportunity and we urge you to call us before you serve notice so that we can help you and your tenants.

We can help you to resolve:

  • Rent arrears
  • Housing benefit problems
  • Universal Credit issues
  • Helping tenants to maximise their income.

For free assistance call The Salford Property Link Advice Line 0161 793 2626 or email

Information for tenants in private rented accommodation

Are you worried about being evicted?

Can my landlord evict me straight away because of coronavirus?

Your landlord must follow the proper steps to evict you. It's illegal for your landlord to evict you without following those steps.

An illegal eviction is a criminal offence - coronavirus doesn't change this.

It's likely to be an illegal eviction if your landlord:

  • makes you leave without notice or a court order
  • locks you out of your home, even temporarily

If you are worried that your landlord is trying to illegally evict you, you can contact Salford City Council on 0161 793 2020 or email

What if I'm a lodger?

Even if you live with your landlord, they still need to follow the correct process to evict you.  They don't need to go to court but you're usually entitled to reasonable notice before you can be made to leave.

What do the new coronavirus rules on eviction mean?

The new rules extends the notice period for evictions.

How long is the new notice period?

Most tenants will get a minimum of 3 months' notice before their landlord can apply to court. This applies if you get notice on or after 26 March 2020. The notice period will reduce to 2 months from 1 August 2021.

This includes:

  • private tenants who get a section 21 or a section 8
  • secure, introductory and flexible council tenants
  • housing association tenants
  • regulated tenants

Further information can be found in 'guidance for landlord and tenant - section 1, Protection for tenants under the coronavirus Act 2020'.

What if I had notice from my landlord before 26 March?

You should stay in your home. You don’t have to leave at the end of your notice.

It is your legal right to stay until your landlord gets a court order and a bailiff's warrant. They can't do this at the moment because court action for eviction is on hold.

Court action has now recommenced, and further information can be found in 'guidance for landlord and tenant - section 1, New Court Arrangements'.

Problems with paying your rent?

Can tenants stop paying rent because of the coronavirus outbreak?

There is no payment break or holiday for renters. You can only pause your rent payments if your landlord agrees.

Some landlords can apply for a break in mortgage payments if their tenants are struggling to pay rent due to coronavirus, but this won’t always be possible. They will still have to make up missed payments later.

I'm worried about rent arrears. What should I do?

Speak to your landlord if you're struggling to pay rent.

They could be sympathetic especially if you've lost your job or your income has suddenly reduced. 

They might agree to a rent reduction or to accept rent late. Get any agreement in writing.

Can my private landlord increase my rent during the outbreak?

Your landlord can only increase your rent if they follow the correct procedure.

Benefits and other financial help

I need to claim benefits. Where do I start?

Benefit Calculators. You can use an independent benefits calculator to find out what benefits you could be entitled to, how to claim benefits and how your current benefits will be affected if you start work. These services are free to use, anonymous and have replaced the benefits adviser service. 

Salford City Council’s Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Service can help you work out what benefits and tax credits you are entitled to, assist with claim forms, and argue your case at an appeal if you disagree with a decision. If you have debt problems, we can help you draw up financial statements, negotiate with your creditors and represent you in court.

Universal Credit. Universal credit replaces six key benefits - Housing Benefit, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. Find out whether you are eligible to claim universal credit or to apply online.

There are complex rules for couples where one is over pensionable age and for anyone who is entitled to a Severe Disability Premium. You may wish to seek guidance from Salford City Council’s welfare rights team prior to submitting a Universal Credit application.

Citizens Advice can also assist you with submitting a claim.

How much housing benefit can I claim?

Housing benefit for private rented properties is called Local Housing Allowance (LHA). The amount you can claim varies depending on your household make up. You can find the current LHA rates online.

What if I already get tax credits or benefits but my income has dropped because of coronavirus?

If you have a change of circumstances, you need to inform the relevant organisation directly. You may need to inform more than one:

Universal Credit – access your online account or telephone 0800 328 5644. Textphone: 0800 328 1344.

Pension Credit information on GOV.UK - service helpline 0800 731 0469. Textphone: 0800 169 0133.

Disability Benefits information on GOV.UK – telephone 0800 121 4433. Textphone: 0800 121 4493.

Child Benefit information on GOV.UK – telephone 0300 200 3100 or go to the GOV.UK website.

Any other benefit - contact JobCentrePlus, telephone 0800 169 0310. Textphone: 0800 169 0314 or go to the GOV.UK website.

Please ensure you have your National Insurance Number and all the relevant details of your change of circumstances when you contact any of the above agencies.

I get some housing benefit but now I've lost my job. How can I pay my rent?

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and you have had a change in circumstances you may need to claim Universal Credit.

If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing element does not cover your full rent and you are struggling to pay the difference, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Do I still have to pay Council Tax?

Council Tax payments are still due, although if you have had a reduction in your income you may be able to claim Council Tax Reduction. If you have made a claim for Universal Credit, you will still need to make a separate claim for Council Tax reduction. If you are struggling to pay and want to request a reduction in your payment arrangement, this can be requested online and you may want to contact the Salford Debt Advice Line for further advice if you cannot reach an agreement. Telephone 0800 345 7375, Monday to Friday between 10am and 12pm.

Can I get help with food and energy bills?

Salford Assist is a Salford City Council scheme that can offer short term support to people who are in a crisis, emergency or major disaster situation. These situations can mean that you are unable to meet the basic needs of yourself or your family. If you require emergency assistance with food, fuel, medication or pets please ring 0800 952 1000 or go to the Salford Assist page.


What help can I get if I'm homeless?

It’s important to get help as soon as you know you have a housing problem. Salford Housing Options Point (SHOP) can help prevent you losing your home. If you are homeless, are threatened with homelessness or you are just looking for some housing advice contact 0161 793 2020 or email

You will be asked questions about your current housing situation. This is important as it will allow the team to provide you with tailored advice relevant to your circumstances. If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, this will trigger a homelessness assessment, under the homelessness legislation.

Customers who are assessed under the homelessness legislation as having a priority need, and have no accommodation available to them that evening, may be offered emergency accommodation. This could be a hostel or bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

If you are not eligible for homelessness emergency accommodation, SHOP may refer you to A Bed Every Night (ABEN). ABEN provides a bed and personal support for anyone who is sleeping rough or at imminent risk of sleeping rough in Greater Manchester.

Domestic abuse – what can I do?

If you are being abused and would like help to leave your private rented property, we will help you find a place of safety. Contact SHOP as soon as it is safe to do so on 0161 793 2020 or email

If you don’t want housing assistance but would find it useful to talk to someone about what has happened, even if you do not want to do anything about it, there is a list of support services available.

Can I move homes during coronavirus restrictions?

Information regarding house moves can be found via 'Governments advice on home moving during the coronavirus (Covid-19) Outbreak'.

Can I leave my tenancy early because of coronavirus?

You can only end a fixed term tenancy early if either:

  • your contract has a break clause
  • you negotiate an early end to the agreement with your landlord

If you want to leave as soon as possible you'll probably have to negotiate.

Your landlord may be sympathetic to your request to leave if they understand your reasons. For example, if you need to move urgently because you or a family member are sick or need support.

Landlord access to your home

Landlords are able to carry out normal services to properties – including urgent and routine repairs and safety inspections, and planned maintenance provided these are undertaken in line with the latest guidance on (COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot dopublic health advice and the relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation.

Further information can be found in 'guidance for landlord and tenant - section 2'.

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