** Updated 27th March 2020 **
With increasing reports of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the UK, and a likely nationwide shutdown, we are taking additional measures to ensure the safety of you, your tenants and our contractors.
We’ll be keeping this page updated as well as our General Landlord Advice page as guidance comes through from the Government, so please check these pages regularly.
We have already contacted your tenant and have provided them with advice regarding this unprecedented situation. You can read our communication to your tenant here.
All our staff are now working from home so it’s business as usual, however due to the significant reduction in calls and enquiries at this time we’ll be reducing staff hours.
*PLEASE NOTE* – Please don’t enter into negotiations directly with your tenants, get them to call us directly. We need to track all communications so we know what’s going on and can put plans in place once things start to return to normal.
Keeping us all safe
We urge you, your tenants and our contractors to follow the advice being given by the Government and the NHS. You can read the latest advice from the NHS here.
In order to minimise risk and exposure, our contractors will not attend, and you should not visit the property, if any party including the tenant:
- Has a high temperature or a new, continuous cough
- Has tested positive for COVID-19, or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive
- Considers themself to be in a higher risk group
- Is self-isolating
If you are under our part managed service and are arranging for a contractor visit, you should ensure that none of the above are relevant for either your tenant or the contractor.
If you are under our fully managed service and need to visit the property for any reason, please contact us first. We will check to ensure that none of the above is relevant to your tenant.
Viewings & Advertising
According to the latest Government guidance, you can continue to market your property for let, but you should not allow people in to view your property.
Furthermore, there should not be any visitors into the property at all, meaning that a landlord can not attend a property with a tenant in-situ and there should be no in-person viewings.
If your property is vacant, you may be able to conduct virtual viewings (via skype, zoom, WhatsApp etc). A new Statute was passed yesterday and came into immediate effect in England which forbids anyone leaving the place where they are living “without reasonable excuse”, so you must only leave to conduct a virtual viewing if absolutely necessary.
If your property is currently tenanted, your tenant may be willing to conduct a virtual viewing on your behalf.
If you decide that you would like to suspend your advert for the time being, please let us know as soon as possible.
If you would like to continue advertising, it would be great to include a video tour of your property. If you have one, just email it across to us.
Maintenance, Safety Certificates & Inspections
If you are under our fully managed service, the Governments advice is to now stop all non-essential contact. Therefore all routine maintenance work has been cancelled with only urgent maintenance work being undertaken.
In the case of an emergency during a nationwide shutdown (gas leak, for example), there is a provision for contractors to be permitted to attend urgent call outs.
We are following guidance as it comes through regarding the completion of legally required certificates requiring a contractor to attend the property. Accordingly, at this time we are continuing to book these in, taking appropriate precautions to ensure safety of course.
In line with recommendations from Government and trade bodies, all mid-term inspections have been put on hold until further notice.
We are aware that both tenant and landlord incomes are already being affected.
We have reminded your tenants that they must continue to pay their rent, however we have asked them to contact us if they have concerns about their ability to meet their rent payments BEFORE the next payment is due.
If your tenant contacts us with concerns about their ability to pay their rent, we will be in touch.
Payment holidays of up to three months are being offered to landlords with buy-to-let mortgages, on the understanding the benefit is to be passed to the tenant. You should contact your mortgage provider as soon as possible if you need to take a payment holiday.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you are intending on taking a mortgage payment holiday.
Government are suspending the eviction process, with no new possession proceedings to start during the crisis. This means that you will be unable to start proceedings to evict tenants for a three-month period – whatever the reason.