The government has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by Coronavirus.
- Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
- No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
- Landlords will also be protected as 3 month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages
Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, government confirmed that the three month mortgage payment holiday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. This will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.
At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.
To support this announcement the government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.
The government will also issue guidance which asks landlords to show compassion and to allow tenants who are affected by this to remain in their homes wherever possible.
Responding to the measures, Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive, safeagent, said:
“During these challenging times there has to be give and take on all sides of the Private Rented Sector. These measures are the right response to the extraordinary times we find ourselves in.
“safeagent firms have already been preparing their landlords that the Coronavirus would lead to inevitable rent arrears. Now, agents have an important role to play in trying to support both tenants and landlords and maintain equilibrium.”