Advice for Private Tenants and Landlords

The Government has published advisory guidance in order to help landlords and tenants during the current COVID-19 pandemic which can be found by clicking on the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities

 

  • Continue to pay your rent in full, if you are unable to pay all or part of you rent talk to your landlord and seek advice from the Housing Options Team.
  • Stick to any plan that they have agreed with the landlord.
  • Seek help from the local authority if they are in financial hardship.
  • Apply for universal credit if you need to. gov.uk/how-to-claim-universal-credit
  • Stick to the terms of you tenancy agreement.
  • Continue to keep the property in a clean, safe and good condition and report any urgent repairs promptly to your landlord.
  • Allow your landlord to carry out inspections and repairs, this may mean showing your landlord any issue via video call or send them pictures. If the seriousness of the issues means that it is necessary, you must allow access to your landlord whilst sticking to the governments advice, this may mean isolating yourself in a room whilst the landlord/contractors carries out essential works. You can contact the Private Sector Enforcement team for advice on 01623 457345.
  • If you can’t pay your bills visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-because-of-coronavirus/ .
  • Should not move while restrictions are in place.
  • Be understanding if a tenant’s income fluctuates and offer what support they can.
  • Come to an agreement with the tenant with regards to repayment, for example what can the tenant afford now and can a payment plan be made when the tenant is in a better financial position for the rest?
  • Give tenant three months’ notice at a minimum if they are going to serve notice.
  • Expect no action to be taken by the courts on any possession applications until the 90 day suspension has expired. Additionally, they should recognise that the suspension may be extended and that when lifted the process may take longer.
  • Contact the lender if they have a buy to let mortgage as banks have agree to offer payment holidays of up to three months.
  • Try to be flexible with their tenants and have an honest and open discussion with them.
  • Make contact with their tenants prior to court action in order to understand the tenant’s financial position and maintain contact throughout the tenancy.
  • Treat licensee’s as they would tenants.
  • Continue with their duty to maintain the property to a good standard and remedy any emergency high risk or hazardous conditions.
  • Follow the Governments guidance if a property visit is deems necessary. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities
  • Document all actions taken in order to try and carry out your duties as a landlord and the responsible.
  • Not expect your tenant to move within the suspension period even if you have already issued a notice which expires within that period.
  • Seek legal advice if your need it.
  • Discuss the possible of a payment holiday (up to 3 months) with their lender.
  • Delay any planned moves by talking and making an agreement with those involved.

  • Follow the advice for both owner occupiers and tenants.
  • Unfortunately, you are not protected by the Coronavirus Act 2020. You should do everything that you can to abide by your licence agreement and the advice provided by Public Health.
  • Inform others in the house if you are a sharer and develop any symptoms of corona virus so that everyone can follow government guidance and self-isolate.
  • If, you received a separate agreement regarding your accommodation check it to see what type of accommodation you have.
  • Check your employment contract to see if it mentions what type of agreement you have, it may also say how much notice you will have to leave the accommodation.
  • You should receive at least 1 weeks’ notice that you need to leave the accommodation. Your landlord may be prepared to give more so please ask. Landlords and employers have all been asked to be flexible during this difficult time. If the employer is a Local Authority, they should give you 4 weeks’ notice.
  • Contact a specialist advice service such as Shelter or Citizens Advice to see if they are able to determine the type of tenancy you hold.