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How will Coronavirus affect Landlords?

Coronavirus

The Government have moved quickly to announce a plethora of support for workers affected by the current COVID- 19 crisis and a lot of information has been released in a relatively short space of time.  In addition to protecting people’s incomes, the Government have also moved to protect people’s homes. The newly issued package of measures protects renters affected by Coronavirus. No renter, either in social or private housing, will be forced out of their homes during this time.

Guide to Coronavirus Support for Ltd Companies and the Self-Employed: Click here to download>>

Longer notice periods

From the 26th March 2020, landlords are being asked to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek repossession of their property, which in effect means that you cannot apply to start any court proceedings until after this period. Importantly all ongoing housing possession cases already in court have been suspended for at least 90 days, but this can be extended if needed.

Keep talking to your tenants

Your tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay as usual if they can. If they face financial hardship and are struggling to pay, then the Government is encouraging you to talk with your tenants and see if there is a mutually acceptable payment plan that can be agreed. With the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme most renters that have been working should be eligible for some support to replace their income. Both Universal Credit and Housing Benefit are also increasing and from April and Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area. You still need to carry out any urgent repairs

During this time Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standards so urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. An agreement for non-urgent repairs to be done later should be made between you and your tenants.

For many landlords, income from property is their main source of income so with the potential that many workers may struggle to pay their rents, what help is available for landlords? It is unclear at this stage whether any further financial support will be made directly available to Landlords but what we do know is that you are now protected by the three-month mortgage holidays being offered by banks and building societies. Unusually these holidays have now been extended to cover Buy to let mortgages.

Support and advice is changing on a daily basis. If you are a client of Orange Genie Accountancy we will keep you regularly updated but in the meantime there is more detail for Landlords here.

If you have any questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468 483 or email info@orangegenie.com.

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