There is estimated to be over 2.6 million landlords across the UK with many now being affected by the current Coronavirus outbreak.
To help landlords navigate this difficult period, BCP Council recently released guidelines on what to do during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The council has advised that in these challenging times, landlords, agents and tenants all need to work together as far as possible.
They suggest constant communication with your tenants via email, text or phone and if a landlord is concerned about their tenant’s welfare, they can contact the community response team by calling 03001237052.
Many tenants may have lost their regular employment, and will be struggling to come up with the money to pay rent.
Though they should still be expected to pay the money they owe, landlords should refer to support services/benefit advice if they feel it is appropriate.
A repayment schedule for ‘Rent Arrears’ can then be scheduled in due course.
Can Landlords enter properties?
Yes, Landlords can enter properties, but only for health and safety issues.
These may include: boiler breakdowns; leaking roof; plumbing issues affecting toilets and showers; damage to equipment used by a disabled person or the breakdown of fridges/freezers/washing machines.
That means all non-essential maintenance must be put on hold for the time being.
Landlords must also not offer viewings at this time and should follow social-distancing guidelines when entering a property.
The impact of the Coronavirus Act 2020
On the 25th March, the UK Government passed the Coronavirus Act into law.
The Act states that landlords will now not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three month period.
This means any notices given between 26 March and 30 September will require 3 months notice before they can be applied in court.
In light of this, a growing number of landlords have been contacting the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), claiming that tenants are expecting not to have to pay rent because of the pandemic.
Chief executive of the NRLA, Ben Beadle has responded, reminding tenants to follow the guidelines:
“The mortgage repayment holiday is only available for landlords who are struggling to make their payments because their tenants are unable to pay part or all of their rent as a direct result of the coronavirus and through no fault of their own.”
He continued, saying “this is not a green light to tenants everywhere to stop paying their rent.”
For more information on the Government’s advice for landlords and tenants, click here.