The government guidance on Covid-19 for landlords and tenants has been updated. At the end of July, a new guide was published, detailing recent changes to the law and explaining the implications of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The latest advice focuses on three key areas.
Rent, mortgage payments, and notices seeking possession – under the Coronavirus Act, until 30 September 2020 most landlords will not be able to start possession proceedings unless they have given their tenants three-months’ notice. Landlords can choose to give more notice if they prefer.
Court action on housing possession cases during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – new or existing claims for possession will not be able to proceed before 24 August and landlords are strongly advised not to commence new notices seeking possession without good reason.
Repairs, maintenance, and health and safety – where safe to do so, it is in the best interests of both tenants and landlords to ensure that properties are well maintained, kept in good repair, and free from hazards. Recent changes to guidance on working safely mean that landlords can now take steps to address wider issues of repairs and safety inspections, provided these are undertaken in line with public health advice.
To download and read the guidance in full, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.
The guidance mainly applies to England but some of the measures referred to also apply in Wales. Landlords with properties in Wales can find guidance from the Welsh Government at https://gov.wales/housing-coronavirus. Landlords in Scotland can go to https://www.gov.scot/collections/coronavirus-covid-19- guidance/
During the ongoing pandemic, it is vital that we all understand and abide by the rules wherever possible. As the situation evolves, all Covid-19 advice is being frequently updated, so landlords should be checking regularly for changes.
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