You will no doubt have heard in the news that the government has said that "no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home"
However, tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay as normal. If a tenant is struggling to pay rent, the government has recommended the Landlord have a discussion with their tenant and come to a mutual agreement on payment. Options can be such as considering accepting a lower level of rent in the short term, together with a payment plan for the arrears. Alternatively, you can apply for a three-month payment holiday on your mortgage. Lenders have have been asked by the government to offer for a Buy to Let mortgage payment holiday in order to maintain positive relationships with you and your tenants. If you are considering taking up a the mortgage holiday it would be expected for you to offer this relief to your tenants. Mortgage holidays are only available for those who who are not in arrears for payments.. Be warned that this can also result in it taking you longer and costing you a little more to clear your mortgage too.
You will not be able to commence possession proceedings unless you give your tenant three months notice. Courts have now suspended existing housing possession cases, initially for 90 days as of 27 March 2020. They have advised not to commence with any new cases and if you had previously issued notice the tenant does not need to move out until 90 days from 27 March 2020.
The government states "Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard - urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made.” Landlords are encouraged to make an agreement for non urgent repairs to be done later.
Gas and Electrical Safety Inspections
A "common sense approach" needs to be taken and inspections must be carried out unless you are unable to gain entry or unable to find a contractor. Landlords will not be penalised where Covid-19 restrictions prevent them from meeting some routine obligations.
If you have any other lettings or sales issues you would like to discuss please call us on 020 8554 9999.