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Advice for landlords and agents

What can I do to support my tenant?

Landlords, agents and tenants need to work together during this period and follow public health advice.

  • Check in on your tenants now and again; keep the communication open (do this by either email, text or phone)
  • Worried about the welfare of your tenant? Get advice from the community response team on 0300 1237052
  • Renters are advised to delay moving during this time, except for exceptional circumstances; landlords should bear this in mind when negotiating with new and existing tenants
  • If your tenant informs you they have lost their job; refer them to support services/benefit advice.

If your tenant is having difficulty paying the rent please encourage them to get support from us.

My tenant has stopped paying rent, what can I do?

  • Speak to your tenant to explore the situation; it may be that they have lost their income
  • Explore the possibility of deferring some rent payments until after the three month period has passed with an agreement for repayment.
  • Obtain tenants agreement to refer them to the Housing Early Prevention Service or other support services so they can apply for benefits and support
  • Ask your mortgage company for a ‘mortgage holiday’; this entitles you to a three month break period
  • Keep track of rent payments/missing payments during this time.
  • If the tenant is in receipt of universal credit; it may be possible to arrange direct payment. Information on how to apply can be found below.

Will my tenant be responsible for paying back any arrears?

  • Yes, and a repayment schedule should be implemented in due course
  • Use support services to assist you and the tenant with any rent arrears. Contact the Housing Early Prevention Service for advice on how to proceed
  • If the tenant is more than two months’ in arrears you may be able to apply for direct payments, if the tenant is in receipt of benefits.

Evictions

  • Any notices given between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 will require a three month notice period before you can apply to court
  • If you have an existing eviction notice in place this will be put on hold for three months
  • Most court proceedings for possession orders are on hold for three months from 27 March 2020.

Tenancy start dates

  • The Government has advised that all non-essential moves should be postponed for the next few weeks
  • Please be patient, flexible and negotiate with existing and potential tenants regarding start and end dates of tenancies.

Entering the property 

  • You may enter the property for urgent health and safety issues which may include: boiler breakdowns, leaking roof, plumbing issues that result in toilets or showers not working, equipment that a disabled person relies upon and breakdown of white goods; fridge/washing machine. Landlord, maintenance person and tenant should follow social distancing guidelines when entering the property
  • Non-essential maintenance must be postponed.  You will not be penalised for this
  • If you have to arrange a gas safety check, please follow Government advice
  • You may not offer viewings to potential tenants during this time. It must be postponed.

Where to find more information