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COVID-19 Update for Evergreen Tenants

Posted by Andrew Cutt on March 24, 2020
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With the announcements by both the Prime Minister and First Minister last night, confirming that all non-essential shops/cafes/bars/restaurants/gyms etc are to close, and people are to stay at home, it is understandable that you may have financial worries and concerns.

Evergreen staff are in the same boat, working from home, and trying to figure out ways to navigate our business through this turbulent and undoubtedly difficult period.

I have tried to compile and clarify the new legislation and financial measures taken by the UK government to support tenants, landlords and businesses alike. Below, I have provided information specific to you as a tenant, which you should read thoroughly. If you have concerns over affordability of rent, you must tell us as soon as you can so we can provide the necessary assistance.

Defaulting on Rent

For some of you, how you are going to pay your rent over the next few months may be a very real concern just now. The Government has identified this and introduced measures across the sector to support you. First off, we cannot evict you currently for rent arrears for the next 6 months. So, your home is still going to be your home. However, if you default on your rent, this will be classed as an arrear, and will still be due to us and ultimately the landlord and this will have to be eventually paid. We will of course assist you in any way possible with repayment plans etc. It is not our intention to immediately seek eviction once the ban is lifted, so don’t worry. We would always advise to pay all that you can up to the rent due amount; this will limit the arrears that you build up.

How is the government supporting Employers and Employees?

The UK government has introduced a number of schemes to help support businesses and their staff through the Covid-19 outbreak.

One of which, is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Under this scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would have otherwise been laid off.

As an employee, you will be designated as a ‘furloughed worker’, and HMRC will reimburse 80% of wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month per employee. If you have already been laid off, and the cited reason was due to Covid 19, you should ask them to consult the HMRC website and ask them to add you to the scheme when it becomes available. Their aim should be to retain you after the outbreak but we would their intention would be to support you with Government aid where possible. They are not obligated to top up your salary to the full 100%.

There are also grants available for employers, as well as deferring of VAT and Income Tax payments.

More information can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Help for the Self-Employed

Many of you are self-employed and aghast that no official legislation has come in to you help you. All is not lost. There is help on the way. Please see below. PAGE 14

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0122/amend/coronavirus_daily_cwh_0320rev.14-18.html?fbclid=IwAR1Tn_TT68wfRJ3gywX19V0AW0VlncqlBaEJh4P2ZNvo2OuCfqf_Q2PCmx4

Applying for/already on benefits? Information on SSP

The link below will take you to the Government website page detailing what to do if you are concerned about paying your rent and need to apply for benefits (Universal Credit, which includes a Housing element if eligible), and it details changes to Statutory Sick Pay guidance for those affected by Covid-19.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

Evergreen Property has built its reputation on fairness and integrity. We will do all we can to support you through this difficult time, but please be mindful that we are also in similar situations.

We lastly, urge you to pay all rent whilst you can and let us know if you are unable to make full payment as soon as possible so that we can help you get the correct help.

As ever, we will be available but not in person.

Take care and thank you,

Andy and Barry

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