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Supporting landlords and tenants affected by coronavirus

Some helpful resources for this difficult time.

Rent payment options

If your tenant has approached you regarding their financial difficulties, you may have a few options to consider.

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Rent payment plan addendum

A free template agreement to highlight any temporary changes to your tenancy.

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Our lockdown journey

Natalie explains how we managed to keep our rent claims below 2% during a pandemic.

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Virtual 3D property tours

Stay COVID-safe by letting tenants 'visit' your property online.

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Right to rent checks COVID-19

Temporary changes to the rules of Right to Rent checks aim to make it easier for landlords to carry them out.

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Online rental valuation

Find out how much your property is worth with a free desktop valuation.

Get a valuation

You can contact us for more help

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To our landlords and tenants

May 2021

Our sector has taken a few knocks, and we know you may have some concerns about the year ahead.

We don’t want your rental property to be one of them.

That’s why we’re letting you know we’re here for you – and we’re not going anywhere.

Financial difficulties, payment plans and delayed rents are all worries our landlords and tenants have faced this year so far, but through regular communication, support and compassion, we’ve made it through together.

The housing market will be staying open as the country follows the government roadmap out of lockdown. Move-ins, viewings and visits from tradespeople can continue and the latest governmental guidance should be followed.

As an online platform, we are well-equipped to provide landlords with a secure way of letting their property and have maintained our rent protection promise to all our covered customers.

In a time where reliability, quality and cost-efficiency are essential, we’re humbled by the increasing number of new landlords instructing us to take care of their rental portfolios.

None of this would have been possible without our phenomenal team who we’re incredibly proud of and immensely grateful to have.

We’d also like to thank you.

For your understanding, for your patience and for sticking with us. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support you’ve given us via Google Reviews and Review Centre and will continue to maintain our high standard during the months ahead.

If there’s anything you need to discuss with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or click here to book a call with a member of our valuations team.

Thank you again for your continued support, and we look forward to talking with you soon.

Best wishes,

Matthew and Jonathan Daines

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a landlord on our Essential or Complete plan, your rent payments are protected by our Rent Protection service.

We are also pleased to be able to continue to offer our Rent Protection and Legal Expense Cover for all your tenancy renewals.

If you are part way through your fixed-term tenancy or in a periodic (rolling) tenancy, we may be able to upgrade you to our Complete Plan. Landlords on this plan benefit from protected rent payments every single month, plus legal expense cover and home emergency cover.

If this is something of interest to you, please get in touch to see if you qualify.

The valuable benefit of rent protection and legal expense cover is available on all new tenancies arranged through our company.

We will advertise your property on Rightmove and Zoopla and our team will help you take care of all the admin - including referencing, deposits, tenancy agreements and dispute and eviction support.

If you are considering letting out your property or switching from your current agency, our fixed-fee rental plansthat include rent protection and legal expense cover may be of interest.

Landlords are allowed to show prospective tenants around their rental property provided that it is safe to do so.

Landlords should not conduct viewings in properties where current tenants are symptomatic or self-isolating.

Organising a virtual 3D tour of your property is an ideal way of showcasing your property whilst reducing the spread of COVID-19.

All physical viewings should be limited to members of the same household where possible.

When showing someone around the property, all internal doors should be opened and all individuals should avoid contact with surfaces and door handles.

The government have advised that people can continue to move home.

Moving home is not appropriate whilst you pose an immediate risk of transmitting COVID-19. Relevant local advice should also be observed.

All individuals involved in move-ins should take care to follow government guidance on moving home.

Inspections, maintenance and repair work can go ahead provided that all individuals follow the government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

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

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.

More guidance on work in other people's homes can be found here.

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.

Safety in the home remains extremely important. All landlords should make every effort to abide by existing gas safety regulations and the new electrical safety regulations which apply to all tenancies as of 1st April 2021.

It is in the best interests of both tenants and landlords to ensure that properties are kept in good repair and free from hazards. Tenants should let their landlords know early if there is a problem.

Landlords can take steps to carry out repairs and safety inspections provided these are undertaken in line with public health advice and the relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation.

Inspections and maintenance work should not be carried out in households that are self-isolating. Landlords and contractors are able to carry out routine and essential repairs in households that are shielding, but landlords and tenants should work together to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Local authorities are aware that COVID-19 guidance will affect landlords complying with gas and electrical safety requirements and the government are encouraging a pragmatic, common-sense approach from both landlords and enforcement agencies.

More information and advice for landlords and tenants is available via the government website.

Many landlords are concerned about the electrical regulations. As of 1st April 2021, all tenancies (new and existing) will require a valid electrical report.

The government have confirmed that if a landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, they will not be in breach of their duty.

Landlords are encouraged to respect the caution of tenants during lockdown, particularly those that are vulnerable and shielding. Landlords can show they have taken all reasonable steps by keeping copies of all commmunication with their tenants and electricians regarding arranging inspections or electrical work - including any replies they have received.

If your electrical inspection or remedial work happens after April 1st, you do not need to panic. As long as you can show you have taken all reasonable steps to organise the work, you will not be in breach of your landlord responsibilities.

You can arrnage your electrical inspection with LettingaProperty.com here.

The government confirmed that Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) remain a legal requirement when marketing a property for rent unless an exemption can be applied .

Landlords have a grace period of up to 28 days from the day a property is advertised. They must be able to demonstrate that a reasonable effort has been made to obtain an EPC. After this period, enforcement action can be taken by enforcement authorities in line with the EPC Regulations.

No assessments should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded. If securing an EPC is critical, you should seek to reschedule your appointment when it is safe to do so following Government guidelines on staying away from others.

You can organise your energy inspection with LettingaProperty.com here.

We advise any landlord that has obtained a 3-month payment holiday for their buy-to-let mortgage and is on one of our rent collection plans to please contact [email protected]. This may have a bearing on any insurance claims that we may have to make if 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, 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 provider's direction.

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

If you are a landlord that manages their rent directly, then our advice is to follow directives from the government and other relevant sources. From our experience, we recommend 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 are offering 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 created 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 introduced 6-month notice periods in England, Scotland and Wales until 31 May 2021. From 1 June, notice periods will be reduced to four months. Eviction proceedings and notice periods are expected to return to normal from 1 October 2021.

This means that from 1 June landlords will have to give all renters four months’ notice if they want to end their tenancy.

Bailiff enforcement is currently on hold but will restart from 1 June.

This protection covers most private and social renters in England and Wales, and all grounds of evictions. Certain circumstances, including anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, rioting and over 6 months of rent arrears, are able to progress to court in a shorter timeframe. Read the government's guidance on notices seeking posession for more information.

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.