Coronavirus Legislation Private Rented Housing Sector

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    Coronavirus Legislation Private Rented Housing Sector

    Hi All

    My self-employed tenants are currently part-way through a 12 month assured shorthold tenancy agreement with no break clauses.

    They notified me on the 24th March 2020 that they cannot afford to pay the next payment of rent which is due on 25th March due to not being able to work as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown measures preventing people leaving the home unnecessarily. They are self-employed builders and have claimed that their jobs have been cancelled by clients as a result of the lock-down.

    They seem to be relying on the coronavirus bill which has not yet been enacted and have quoted a Gov.UK press release from last week stating “no renter will be forced out of their home during this difficult time”.

    As the bill has yet to receive royal assent and be passed as a law (correct as at 07:57am 25/03/2020), they have presumably acted prematurely?

    I am now in a position to serve a s.21 notice to vacate the property immediately.

    Any advice or thoughts would be very much appreciated.

    #2
    Good luck with trying to evict anybody at the moment! What alternative payment arrangements have you or they offered as a temporary measure to get through this?

    Comment


      #3
      As BTL said, your options are limited. You won't be able to get them out. Are they changing it or are they really in dire straits? In truth, it doesn't make much difference.

      Stay in touch with them. Ask what they can pay and ask them to keep you posted if things change (for worse or better). Keep a record of what was paid and what is owed and see what the next couple of months brings.

      Comment


        #4
        I'd still be serving the s21. They are just 3 months notice now instead of 2, aren't they?

        Might concentrate their minds on paying something.

        Comment


          #5
          What you can do depends on how far through the fixed term they are.
          Any s21 notice has to expire on or after the end date of the fixed term, and they expire six months after service.

          Currently (Wednesday morning) the law hasn't changed.

          The draft legislation I have seen doesn't stop repossession under s8 at all, which would be appropriate if they're not paying rent.
          The problem is that the courts have stopped processing cases, so there's practically nothing you can do until the pandemic is over, or the courts move to remote working.

          However, the government is working out how to support the self-employed and should have something available this week/early next week.
          So why not see what happens.

          I'm not sure what else the tenants could have done or can do.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            If the tenants inability to pay their rent and in turn causes you financial difficulty , you can apply to your lender for a three month payment holiday. Suggest you go-onto the Lenders site for existing customers for the application form to submit the request.
            I-fear that this will become a common issue for many landlords and much will depend on the manner in which such situations are handled , play it hard and you will be chasing rent arrears well after they have gone and leaving you with the added cost of finding a new tenant plus the additional void period.

            Comment


              #7
              Hi All,

              Thanks for the very useful responses.

              I am certain that they are taking advantage of the situation and manipulating it to their advantage but it’s a tough one to call.

              They haven’t offered to pay anything and are just saying they haven’t got any money at all.

              I will have a look into s.8 and also refresh s.21 details again.

              Will let you know how this progresses.

              Hope youre all keeping well.

              Comment


                #8
                I served S21 in November , expired early Feb. Immediately applied for possession order, tenant filed no defence. Court has delayed proceeding and requested my solicitor do the whole 14 day process again. Absolute joke.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  The draft legislation I have seen doesn't stop repossession under s8 at all,
                  That which I have seen (via Nearly Legal, sorry no link) says in essence "The minimum notice period for any S8/S21 notice (and for tenancies under other Acts) is now 3 months"

                  Comment

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