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Supporting our landlords and tenants affected by coronavirus

A message from our founders


To our landlords and tenants

27th March 2020

Considering the ongoing uncertainty around the full impact of the Coronavirus, we want to offer our reassurance that we have taken steps to mitigate any disruption to the services we offer you.

Many of you have enquired about the health of our team and we can thankfully report that they are safe at home, and we remain in a position to help our clients during this difficult time.

Fortunately, as an online business, we can operate from home and carry on with our duties of supporting our landlords and tenants.

There may be a slight delay in our typical response times, and we ask for your patience while we answer your questions in a detailed and a transparent manner.

Like many of you, we are following the guidance, direction and advice issued by our government and the World Health Organisation. We are also in daily communication with our business partners and suppliers.

In anticipation that you may have questions about your current or future plan with us; you may find your answer in our frequently asked questions below. Please take a moment to read over these to ensure you are meeting the requirements of government guidance, our rent collection and guarantee packages and services.

For all other enquiries, please head over to our contact page and complete the enquiry form.

Most importantly, we wish you and your loved ones good health during this challenging time and give you our wholehearted assurance that we will do what it takes to help you with your rental needs.

Yours,
Matthew and Jonathan Daines

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a landlord on our Guaranteed Rent or Rent on Time plan, your rent payments are covered by a Rent Guarantee Insurance policy.

In the case of a default in rent payments, the insurer would need to instruct their appointed solicitor to begin proceedings of getting the property back while they cover rent payments. Any claims will likely take some time to be processed.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on yourself as a landlord, the government has announced that a 3-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 stress is put on their tenants as a result.

In anticipation that your tenant is given specific guidance regarding their ability and responsibility to pay their rent, we recommend that you apply, if required and applicable, to your mortgage provider for the 3-month payment holiday.

We do not recommend any physical viewings take place until further notice.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded. If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

If you need to pause your advert until further notice, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

If you have a move-in scheduled for in the upcoming weeks, you may be unsure as to whether it can carry on.

The government have advised that only “unavoidable” move-ins should continue:

“Home buyers and renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new house 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."

“Anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, should follow medical advice and not move house for the time being.”

Where moves do need to go ahead all individuals involved should take care to follow government guidance on social distancing and hygiene.

If you have an inspection due at your rental property or have some mandatory repair work that must be carried out – you may be concerned about what will happen if it can’t go ahead.

The effects of the Coronavirus outbreak and the government’s advice to self-isolate may mean that contractors will be cancelling their work ahead and tenants in situ will be unable to accept visitors into their home.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has provided further clarification:

"Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.

Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households”.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

If you have a Gas Safety Inspection scheduled, Gas Safe Register have issued some official guidance regarding carrying out essential work during this time. The full information can be found on their website.

If you have organised an inspection, inventory or other service through LettingaProperty.com and are unsure on whether it will go ahead or would like to cancel, please get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us on 0333 577 8888.

If you have repair work or an inspection due at your rental property that is legally required, you may be concerned about what the consequences will be if it is cancelled or postponed.

The government have issued the following guidance:

“Landlords should make every effort to abide by existing gas safety regulations and electrical safety regulations which come into force on 1 July.

There are provisions in both regulations to account for situations in which a landlord cannot do this, and they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.”

As a landlord, you should do your best to follow the latest government advice, take all the reasonable steps you can to uphold your responsibilities and ensure you have an easily accessible paper trail to evidence that you have done so.

The Scottish Energy Efficiency Regulations scheduled to come into force April 1st 2020 have now been postponed due to COVID-19.

The government have announced that they will bring forward emergency legislation to protect private renters from eviction and provide 3-month mortgage payment holidays to those who are struggling to pay.

These measures are part of a government support package aiming to help landlords and renters facing financial difficulties during the Coronavirus crisis.

If you are concerned about being unable to meet your mortgage payments, it is advised that you visit the website of your mortgage lender and contact them to find out what level of support they are offering during this time.

Read the government's full statement here: Complete Ban on Evictions and Additional Protection for Renters.

Read the government’s guidance on new eviction proceedings here: Government Support for Landlords and Renters Reflecting the Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

LettingaProperty.com will update this information as the government continues to issue guidance.

For any Landlord that has obtained a 3 month payment holiday for their buy to let mortgage and is on one of our rent collection packages, please can you contact [email protected] via email and advise us as this may have a bearing on any insurance claims that we may have to make in the event that your rental income is delayed.

Any landlord that is under a rent collection package with LettingaProperty.com is politely advised not to negotiate or agree to any proposals of rent payment deferrals without the consent of our accounts department at LettingaProperty.com.

If you have been approached by your tenant who has requested such a delay or has any questions pertaining to their rent, can you please refer their request to [email protected].

We will handle all requests with transparency and understanding but also within the guidelines of our government and insurance providers direction.

In turn, we will communicate with you, our landlord directly when accommodating any delayed rent payment requests.

If you are a landlord that manages his or her rent directly, then our advice is to follow directives from the government and other relevant sources. At the same time, we recommend from our experience that a sensible and understanding approach will unite both parties to reach an amicable solution.

In light of the current situation, we understand that you may be concerned about not being able to pay your rent. If you find yourself in financial difficulty due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we encourage our tenants to contact us and let us know as soon as possible.

The government have introduced financial support for workers and benefit claimants affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. You can read the full information here.

Changes have been made to Universal Credit, Local Housing Allowance and Working Tax Credit to help current claimants and allow more people to claim during this period. You can find out more about this and changes to other government benefits here.

The government have introduced a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to support self-employed people (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). You can check your eligibility and make your application here.

Anyone unable to work for more than 7 days due to the Coronavirus outbreak can obtain an online self-isolation note to give to your employer here.

The government have brought forward emergency legislation to place a 3-month ban on eviction proceedings.

This protection covers most private and social renters in England and Wales, and all grounds of evictions.

This means that from 26th March 2020 landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they want to end their tenancy.

To be clear, landlords are still able to issue an eviction notice, but they will have to wait 3 months (90 days) before they can apply to start the court process of possession.

As of Friday 27th March 2020, the court service have suspended all ongoing housing possession action – this means that any cases that are currently in or any about to go into the system can progress to the stage of eviction.

The government’s full guidance on emergency eviction legislation can be found here.

Yes, you can if you want to. If you have a property being advertised, please get in touch with our team via [email protected] and they will pause your advert and allow you to re-advertise at another time.

The government have temporarily changed Right to Rent check procedures to make it easier for landlords to carry them out.

As of 30th March 2020, you can carry out Right to Checks via video call by following these measures:

  • Ask the tenant to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app.
  • Arrange a video call with the tenant – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents.
  • Record the date you made the check and mark it as “an adjusted check has been undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19"

Checks will continue to be necessary and you must continue to check the prescribed documents of any tenant moving into your home. It remains an offence to knowingly lease premises to a person who is not lawfully in the UK.

If your tenant cannot provide documents from the prescribed lists, you must contact the Landlord’s Checking Service here.

More information on the COVID-19 changes to Right to Rent checks can be found here.