UK: Coronavirus rent crisis

15 May 2020 — London Renters Union

CAn’t Pay, Won’t Pay!

Two months ago, we demanded a suspension of rents, a total ban on evictions throughout the pandemic and its aftermath, and that all those in need of shelter should be housed.

And what has the government done to protect renters since then? The sole response to our demands has been the reopening of the housing market this week, with lettings agents booking viewings to bring people into our homes. With the evictions freeze due to lapse in two weeks, and the risk to the health of renters through viewings and sending people back to work, Boris Johnson is risking the health of the nation. Jobs are being put before workers, in a misguided plan that will likely lead to a prolonged health crisis with an evictions crisis to boot.

Many of us still can’t pay our rent. We were already in a housing crisis before this started, and we shouldn’t have to work in unsafe conditions so that landlords profits are maintained. We know that many of you signed this petition not just because you wanted a rent suspension, but because you already can’t pay. Labour’s proposal, to saddle us with arrears to pay back during the biggest recession in 300 years, just won’t cut it.

If the government won’t suspend rents, we will have to keep ourselves safe. 2.6 million renters have already missed a payment. You don’t have to go to work if you have health and safety concerns, and many of us don’t have work to go to. With two weeks before the end of the evictions freeze, there are two things you can do to help.

1. Share the petition using #CantPayWontPay
2. If you are already having trouble paying your rent, we want to hear from you at

In friendship,


London Renters Union

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