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Redditch Borough Council has urged tenants across its over 6,000 properties to get in touch if they are having difficulty paying rent due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

With legal action or evictions for rent arrears temporarily suspended in line with Government legislation, the borough council has launched support for tenants concerned about being unable to pay their rent and finding themselves in rent arrears.

Council tenants who want to tell the council about a problem paying their rent, or other living costs, should visit www.redditchbc.gov.uk/coronavirus where there is a simple online form to complete, or contact their Tenancy team.

Cllr Craig Warhurst, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said “We know that this could be a worrying time when you have a home and family to look after. Many will be affected by a loss of income during this difficult period and will be concerned about making ends meet.

“We want to reassure you that we are committed to working through this difficult time with you, not against you. If you are going to be unable to make a payment, in full or in part, please let us know so we can support you. This outbreak won’t last forever, and we can help you access support that is available for you to get back to normal.”

The advice is one part of a range of Coronavirus measures temporarily in place across borough council housing services to protect people from the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Moving from one council house to another through choice-based letting is suspended except in very exceptional circumstances, home maintenance visits are restricted to essential safety checks and emergencies only, and all services that are normally conducted face-to-face are available by telephone only.

Cllr Matt Dormer, Leader of Redditch Borough Council, added: “For many people times are hard while we have to stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives. We want our tenants to know that support is available, just make sure you get in touch.”

The situation including Government advice continues to develop. For live updates on housing and every other borough council service during the outbreak, see www.redditchbc.gov.uk/coronavirus.