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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Lockdown guidance for tenants and landlords

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The housing minister Robert Jenrick has produced guidance for landlords and tenants about all aspects of property rental during the coronavirus crisis.

lockdown guidance for landlords and tenants

Moving out or in

In terms of house moves, the government has made it clear that it wants people buying, selling or renting property to stay put for now, if they possibly can – particularly if it would involve moving somewhere that is currently occupied.

According to the guidance: “Home buyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight coronavirus.

“If moving is unavoidable because you’re contracted and the parties aren’t able to agree a delay, you must follow advice on social distancing.”

Anyone with symptoms, or who is self-isolating or shielding from the virus, should follow medical advice and not move home for the time-being.

Rents

While a three-month ban on evictions is in place, no statutory rent-free period has been introduced. According to government guidance: “Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.”

Landlords are, however, asked to be flexible in these difficult times. “As part of our national effort to respond to the covid-19 outbreak it’s important that landlords offer support and understanding to tenants who may start to see their income fluctuate.”

repairs

Repairs and inspections

During lockdown, landlords are expected to continue to keep their rental homes in a good state of repair and to fulfil their responsibilities. “Landlords’ repair obligations have not changed. Tenants have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live.”

However, the guidance also states that: “In these unprecedented times we encourage tenants and landlords to take a pragmatic, common-sense approach to non-urgent issues which are affected by covid-19 related restrictions.”

Examples of issues which should be attended to during the lockdown period include leaking roofs, broken boilers or malfunctioning toilets. Should contractors need to visit a property, the advice is for them to be in separate rooms to tenants and for everyone involved to observe recommended practice on hygiene.

Read the full guidance on the gov.uk website.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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