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 abide to 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.
- 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