Landlord - Tenant financial hardship due to coronavirus

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    Whilst is slightly out of the original posting I thought the following would be of interest to homeowners in difficulties, Landlords and of equal importance Tenants.

    ”All ongoing housing possessions and the court process for landlords to evict tenants have been suspended in England and Wales for three months, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has said.

    From 27 March, all housing possessions which are underway will not progress through to eviction for 90 days. This three-month suspension period can be extended if needed.

    Eviction notices

    As of 26 March, landlords are to give renters three months’ notice if they want to end a tenancy, but they are not allowed to apply to start the court process until after this period.

    This extended grace period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and the three-month notice can be increased if needed.

    If a tenant has not moved out of the premises after the notice period, the landlord can apply for a court order.

    All of these measures apply to private and social renters, as well as those with mortgages and those with licenses covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

    Legal obligations

    The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) said tenants were still obligated to pay rent and should seek support if necessary. It encouraged landlords and tenants to work together to set up a rent payment scheme.

    Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the government has announced it will pay up to 80 per cent of an employee’s wages to ensure they are still able to pay for rent and other expenses.

    For those with tenants on benefits, Universal Credit and Housing Benefit will increase and from April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30 per cent of market rents in each area.

    Buy to let landlords are also eligible for three-month mortgage payment holidays and the self-employed can claim up to 80 per cent of their profits if they face financial difficulties due to the pandemic.

    Landlords are still legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard and urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made.

    Any non-urgent repairs can be postponed following an agreement between tenants and landlords.


      Have your tenants lost their job? It is not clear why they will be in hardship? Have they done a budget? Gone through all outgoings?

      It's important for people to really get a handle on their finances and understand what the real issues are right now.


        This report posted on LZ shows how one letting agent is dealing with flats "not able to pay rent" :


          As a Barclays shareholder I'm........

          Good letter to send to tenants on NRLA website. Err... only fair, but it's a start
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


            I am detailing a summary of opinion from both Landlords & Tenants, having read it twice I must acknowledge that the concerns being expressed in the poll mirrors those raised by many of my clients and the calls they are receiving from Tenants.
            Three quarters of landlords worried tenants will not pay rent during pandemic – Opinium

            by: Shekina Tuahene

            • 14/04/2020
            • 0

            Some 73 per cent of landlords are concerned that their tenants will not be able to pay rent due to the coronavirus pandemic, while 70 per cent fear renters will vacate the property.

            A survey by Opinium found that tenants are also worried about their own financial situations as 48 per cent said they were concerned about the impact Covid-19 will have on their accommodation.

            According to the study, 58 per cent of renters who were working before the outbreak have seen their employment affected as a result of the pandemic. Furthermore, 43 per cent of those whose employment has been impacted have already struggled to pay rent, bills or other essentials.

            A quarter of those whose work has been affected have left home, moved in with other people or requested to end their tenancy early. Furthermore, 24 per cent of these people have had to dip into their savings to make ends meet.

            Seeking financial help

            A sixth of renters in the UK have sought financial help since the outbreak. This rises to 31 per cent among those whose employment has been impacted, with 13 per cent applying for Universal Credit to help with rent payments and 11 per cent borrowing from friends and family.

            Renters responding to the survey said they would welcome policies to assist them financially with 82 per cent in favour of no energy cut-offs and 80 per cent wanting to see rental increases frozen. Additionally, 76 per cent would like to see Universal Credit payments advanced while 74 per cent would welcome a rent freeze.

            However, many renters are not aware of the support already available; two-thirds know the government has made £500m available to fund households experiencing financial hardship, but 61 per cent do not know what that means or entails.

            Furthermore 43 per cent are completely unaware that the government will increase the housing element of Universal Credit to cover the cheapest 30 per cent of rents in an area. Some 19 per cent are also unaware that government has banned new eviction proceedings against tenants for the next three months.

            David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “It’s worrying to see that the vast majority of renters and landlords are concerned about rent payments. Unfortunately, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, more people may see changes in their income which could leave them stressed about affording rent whilst providing for themselves and their families.

            “Clearly not enough is being done to explain and highlight these policies, but we would urge everyone to look into these and understand what help they may be eligible for. Both renters and landlords should take full advantage of the government schemes available during this difficult period.”

            James Endersby, CEO at Opinium, added: “Our research shows that renters are finding it particularly tough. Many have found their employment situation has changed, but their rental payments still remain, and this is already becoming a struggle for some.

            “It’s clear that renters do not have the full perspective of their rights and entitlements that are crucial in guiding them through the outbreak, but these measures could make all the difference.”


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