• Published: 25th Mar 20
  • Category: News

Like us, you will no doubt be overwhelmed by the coverage regarding Coronavirus which at the time of writing is spreading at a significant rate throughout the Country.

With many people having to self-isolate this could have far reaching consequences for the economy. An area of concern for Landlords, beyond the well-being of their tenants, is whether this may impact on consistent rent payments.

The Government announced today that tenants can face protection against eviction for three months. Additionally, that Buy to Let lenders will be required to provide Landlords with a three-month payment holiday should the tenant not pay their rent due to financial difficulties resulting from the crisis.

Contractually the rent will remain due, although the payment of it may have to be staged over an agreed repayment plan in the coming months. Landlords will also need to follow pre-action protocol if they take Court action for rent arrears.

This will require legislation and at the time of writing the draft legislation has not been published although it is expected imminently. There are many questions around this which can only be answered by the legislation. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will endeavour to keep you up to speed as developments occur.

The intention however is clear. That Landlords and tenants should work together to get through these uncertain times.

Additionally thought should be given to whether safety inspections and / or certificates can be completed on time in order to stay inside their legislative obligations. If you have a Gas Safety due within the next two months, the Gas Safety Regulations allow you to complete this anytime from Month 10 of the previous check and therefore it may be sensible to get this done in the event of not being able to access the property, or a shortage of contractors.

Where a tenant is self isolating and can notgive access, all attempts should be made to find a solution including the tenants sealing themselves into a ventilated room while the contractor is present. If access can not be given you should document this and on expiry of the Gas Safety record advise the Environmental Health department at your Local Authority and the Health and Safety Executive. You should then continue to obtain access.

Of course the most important thing is that we all work together to stay safe and protect each other. If you are a tenant or a landlord in need of advice please do contact us.

Please note the date this article was published as the law may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents.

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