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Staying home: how the pandemic will effect my tenancy

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We are currently living in an unprecedented time, as announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It is absolutely vital that we must all stay home to beat the coronavirus, save lives and save the NHS. As scary and as boring as it can be to stay at home each day, we should put it into perspective. We aren’t trapped at home, we’re safe at home. We should only be leaving our homes for essential shopping, exercise and essential travel to and from work. To safeguard the UK population, The ‘Coronavirus Act 2020’ was quickly passed through Parliament. 

I’m worried about being evicted should I fail to pay my rent?

Everyone is in the same boat, and many people are currently facing great financial insecurity. 

To safeguard renters and their tenancies it clearly states in Schedule 29 (of The Coronavirus Act 2020), that no tenant can be evicted for a period of 3 months.

So, should you find yourself unable to pay your rent during these uncertain times, you will not be evicted. The government has advised that the best strategy is to talk and communicate with your landlord or managing agent. A mutual agreement must be formed on behalf of both parties, this could include but is not limited to payment plans.

As a landlord, I’m worried about my income should my tenant not pay rent?

Like everyone else, landlords will also be affected in this crisis, with many worrying about their own mortgage payments. To help homeowners and landlords, the Government have issued a 3 month ‘mortgage holiday’ for landlords and homeowners should they need it. 

What if I want to move home?

The advice at the moment is for people to stay put and indoors for the next 3 weeks (2 weeks as of now) unless you have some very exceptional circumstances.

Additional guidance is given on the Gov.UK website should you be moving into a vacant home. Instead of then leaving home, estate agents may be able to give a video call viewing. However, should you be moving into a previously occupied or shared home, the advice is very clear that both parties should work to find an alternative move-in date.

What about after the three months?

Should the Government feel necessary, they could extend this freeze on evictions and could also do the same with ‘mortgage holidays’. As it stands, when these three months are over, landlords and tenants are to work in cohesion to find some repayment plan that works in the best interest for both.

Image from Appliancehouse.co.uk