At the start of a tenancy, the letting agent will have probably requested information from you as the potential tenant. It will have likely included information about employment which would have been used to assess your affordability of the property rent as well as gain an employment reference. But what happens if four months down the line, after moving in, you are made redundant? ‘Do I need to let my landlord know that I have lost my job?’ Yikes. With a million things to think about, a roof over your head will be top of the list and you are still required to pay rent as per the tenancy agreement so what do you need to do now?
“Do I need to let my landlord know that I have lost my job?” is a common question and the answer depends on a few determining factors.
- Will you be claiming benefits as a result?
If the landlord or letting agency granted the tenancy on the premise of you being employed, but you are now going to be in receipt of benefits to pay the rent then it is essential that you inform the landlord of this change. Landlords have conditions placed on their mortgage and relevant insurances for the property that may be invalid if they are not informed that the tenant is now in receipt of benefits. This could jeopardise the tenancy agreement and permission to let from the mortgage company.
- Will you arrange to pay the rent until you find new employment, that does not involve claiming benefits?
If the answer to this is “YES” then you do not have to inform the landlord or letting agency of your employment status. Here’s the clincher; You ARE obliged to pay the rent in the manner stated on the tenancy agreement and this must not be affected. Some people have savings put aside for emergencies and will enter gainful employment soon after losing their job so the process of applying benefits wouldn’t be beneficial. Perhaps you are living with a partner who will cover the rent payments whilst you look for work, so informing the landlord isn’t necessary as rent payment will continue as normal. Do not rely on the tenancy deposit as a means to pay rent, the tenancy deposit is held against the property to cover potential damage and can not be used for rental payments.
- Check your tenancy agreement
This is really, really important!! You need to check your tenancy agreement as therein may lie the answer. Some agreements will have specific conditions that cover the eventuality of any change of circumstances for the tenant and you are obliged to adhere to the tenancy agreement terms.
- Doing the right thing
In many situations, that may crop up during a tenancy and there are two ways in which to approach them; legal obligation and moral obligation. Often, where there is not a legal obligation to do something there is still a morally right course of action open to take that will ensure a harmonious tenant/ landlord relationship and retain a fair situation for all involved, including the letting agency. So, with that in mind, even if you are not legally required to inform your landlord that you have lost your job it would be better to keep them informed of your circumstances to help maintain trust between you both.
Here at Keyring Lettings we know that life doesn’t always go to plan and we are here to offer advice to both tenants and landlords for any eventuality regarding the tenancy. If you are in financial difficulty, we recommend seeing the advice of a professional and impartial debt management company who can offer professional assistance with budgeting, money and benefits.
By keeping Keyring lettings informed about your situation you help us to help you.