Guidance for Tenants COVID-19
As part of our commitment to Tenants during the global COVID-19 outbreak, we think it’s important that Landlords and Agents offer support and understanding to those affected at this time. With that in mind, below you can find out what we are doing to help and some useful contact details if you need help or advice.
What can I do about rent arrears?
• We are asking Landlords not issue a notice seeking possession, particularly given that Tenants and/or their families may be unwell or facing financial hardship.
• You should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of your tenancy agreement to the best of your ability. If you are unable to do so, please speak to us at the earliest opportunity.
• We can help both parties put a plan in place, whether it’s agreeing a temporary order not to seek possession for a set period of time or arranging for you to pay arrears at a later date.
• If you do reach an agreement to pay arrears, it is very important that you stick to this payment plan and that you talk to us immediately if, for any reason, you are unable to do so.
• Local Authorities can also provide support and you may be eligible for new funding initiatives - the Government have already made £500m available for those households experiencing financial hardship.
• If you fall into financial difficulties due to a change in your employment or earnings, you may qualify for Universal Credit. You can find out more information about Universal Credit here.
Protection for Tenants under the Coronavirus Act 2020, effective 26 March 2020.
• The Coronavirus Act 2020 protects most Tenants in the private rental sector by stating where landlords do need to issue notices seeking possession, the notice period must be for three months.
• Landlords can choose to give a longer notice period. From 27th March 2020, any claims in the system or about to go into the system will be affected by the 90-day suspension of possession hearings and orders.
• When the three-month notice period expires, a landlord cannot force a tenant to leave their home without a court order, even if they are unable to move. As of 27th March 2020, all possession proceedings have been suspended for the next 90 days.