At Plotway we work with many landlords, so we thought that it would be a good idea to write about the new legislation implemented by the government to protect tenants that are having financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A copy of the government guidance for landlords/tenants can be downloaded here.

Continue reading to learn about some key areas of consideration.

Tenants can’t pay rent?

The government guidance is clear that landlords should support their tenants during this difficult period of our lives. It advices communication between landlords and tenants at the earliest opportunity. Tenants should continue to pay their rent and comply with their responsibilities to the best of their ability. When this is not possible, landlords should come up with a plan that suits the tenants. An idea would be a temporary agreement for the tenants to pay lower rent or pay off arrears at a later date.

What financial help is available?

Landlords should be aware that tenants may be eligible to receive financial help and support. Local authorities have the necessary means to support tenants with financial difficulties. Mortgage lenders are offering a three-month mortgage payment holiday. We advise you to speak with us if you have any questions about financial support.

Tenants still not paying rent?

According to the Coronavirus Act, until 30 September 2020, the notice period needed to initiate possession proceedings will be extended in most cases to three months. The government strongly advises that landlords do not issue a notice seeking possession during this period. After the three month notice period, landlords would still need a court order if the tenants do not leave the house willingly.

Repair obligations changed?

Repair obligations have not changed. Tenants still have the right to a decent, warm and safe place to live. It is good for both tenants and landlords that properties are kept in good condition and free from hazards. If there are urgent repairs that require attention in a property, tenants should inform landlords and give access to local authorities, landlords and contractors to inspect and sort the urgent matters at the property.

Keeping everyone safe?

Please note that at Plotway, we are doing everything we can to keep our staff, tenants and contractors safe, so we use a commonsense approach to decide what jobs are urgent and necessary and what jobs can wait until we feel that it is safe to return to the normal conduct of business activities.

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