COVID-19: General Tenant Advice

** Updated 27th March 2020 **

With increasing reports of confirmed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases across the UK, it is important to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your landlord or prospective landlord, and any contractors that may need to complete work at your home.

We urge you to follow the advice being given by Government and the NHS. You can read the current advice from the NHS here.

Viewings

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”.

According to the latest Government guidance, landlords can continue to market their property for let, but should not allow people in to view the property. This means that there is an immediate stop on all in-person viewings.

Some landlords are able to show the property via live video link (WhatsApp, skype, facetime, zoom etc), so please do explore this option.

Moving House

Many tenants are currently in the process of letting, either with references underway, contracts being signed, or their move being imminent.

At this time, the advice from Government is that house moves can go ahead if absolutely unavoidable. Where possible, renters and landlords should delay moving while emergency measures are in place to fight coronavirus.

If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.

Inventory clerks are continuing to work, taking necessary precautions to protect themselves and others, however we are aware that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find removals companies or vans for hire to physically get moved.

Rent Payments

Your rent is due as normal. If you have any concerns about your ability to meet your rent payments, you should contact your landlord as soon as possible.

You are still liable for the full rent payment, so if possible should work with your landlord to set up an affordable payment plan.

There are certain things you can do to ensure a steady flow of income and the government is keeping this page up to date. Please investigate all avenues on there as there may be financial assistance available to you.

Assistance is also being provided to employers by the Government and grants may be available to ensure you keep a significant amount of your income while you’re not working. Please make sure you have a conversation with your HR representative.

If your work situation has changed, you may be eligible to claim some help from the Government. You can check what you are entitled to by clicking here.

Please remember, most landlords will be in a similar situation with their employment being affected as well.

Maintenance, Inspections & Legally Required Certificates

All non-emergency maintenance work and inspections should be postponed.

If there is emergency maintenance work planned at your home, you should let your landlord know if any of the above applies to you.

Landlords have a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check.

Government guidance at this time is that wherever possible these safety checks should continue in order to keep you safe.

If you can not allow access due to the reasons given above, you should let your landlord know as soon as possible.

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