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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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Guide to creating video tours

Tenants are getting ready to move after lockdown. Prepare your advert now.

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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

October 2020

Our sector has taken a few knocks, and we know you may have some concerns about the rest of 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, but through regular communication, support and compassion, we’ve made it through together.

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

With around 1,000 tenants and 800+ managed properties protected with either Rent Guarantee and or Legal Expense Cover, we’ve managed to keep our number of late rent claims down to just under 2%. In contrast, some of our colleagues on the High Street have reported up to 50% of tenants withholding rent.

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.

In September, take-up of our plans - which include guaranteed rent - increased by 78% compared to 2019: making it a record month for us in 12 years.

None of this would have been possible without our phenomenal team who we’re incredibly proud of and immensely grateful to have.We’re delighted to have most of our team back in the office – and we’ve even picked up a few new members along the way.

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 covered by a Rent Guarantee Insurance policy.

We are also pleased to be able to continue to offer you a rent guarantee 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 guaranteed 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 guarantee 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 guarantee 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.

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 who wish to move home are allowed to do so.

Moving home is not appropriate whilst you pose an immediate risk of transmitting COVID-19. Local restrictions may also be in place and relevant local advice should also be observed.

All individuals involved in move-ins should take care to follow government guidance on social distancing and hygiene.

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 or call us on 0333 577 8888.

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 new tenancies created on or after 1 July 2020.

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.

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 EPB 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.

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 providers direction.

In turn, we will communicate with you, the 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. 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.

In March, the government brought forward emergency legislation to place a ban on eviction proceedings. In England and Wales, court proceedings are expected to resume from 20 September 2020.

The government have also introduced 6-month notice periods in England, Scotland and Wales until 31 March 2021.

This means that landlords will have to give all renters 6 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 6 months before they can apply to start the court process of possession.

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.