The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.
Landlords now have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (ie serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) and courts will suspend all housing possession action for 3 months – this means that neither cases currently in the system or any about to go in to it can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.
This does not mean that you should not pay your rent if you can afford to do so. At some time the rent will have to be paid. The changes that have recently been made by the Government to aid people during these times include the potential use of a “rent holiday” or a “mortgage holiday” this is not free money and it will be required to be repaid under the terms you agreed upon.
If as an individual your place of work has been closed, then you may receive 80% of your salary subject to a maximum of £2,500 a month. On this basis, you may be able to afford a percentage of your rent or mortgage payments to keep on top of any possible arrears.
If you are claiming benefits, these will be paid as normal, so you should be able to pay for everything as you previously did.
If you are unable to pay some or all of your rent, then open and honest communication with your landlord is essential from day one. To claim a payment holiday may require you to prove that you are unable to make payments in full due to the crisis.
These measures have been brought in to ensure both landlords and tenants can continue to live and be safe in their homes during these testing times. Now is the time to ensure you have good communication with your landlord or tenant.
Landlords will be able to recover possession of their properties when this crisis is over, as will their mortgage lenders if they are in arrears. They will also be able to obtain judgement for debt. For further advice please see the Gov.UK website.
Further guidance for both landlords and tenants at this time can be found below. This also answers some FAQ’s in the above area and more detailed questions for both parties.