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Last night the Government published their current one stop guide on support available for landlords and tenants during the coronavirus outbreak.  You can read the full version here. The keys points of that guidance are:

From 26/3/2020 landlords are required to give all tenants 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession / end the tenancy. From 27/3/2020 the court service has suspended all ongoing housing possession action. Neither cases currently in the or any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days. This will be in place until 30/9/2020 unless the Government extends this.

Tenants remain liable for their rent and should pay this as usual.  Should tenants face financial hardship and struggle to pay rent in full and on time, support is available. In the first instance tenants should speak to their agent and/or landlord . The Government has announced various measures to help both tenants and landlords including:

1, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme the Government will pay 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2500 per month
2, Both Universal Credit and Housing Benefit will increase and from April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.
3, Landlords will also be protected by a 3 month mortgage payment holiday where they have a Buy to Let mortgages.

Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. Works should be done in line with the current HSE guidance and maintaining the 2 metre social distancing rules.

Also last night, 26/3/2020 the Government announced their Self-employed Income Support Scheme comprising a taxable grant worth 80% of their average profit over the last three years up to a limit of £2500 per month. The scheme will initially  be open for three months. Read PropertyMark’s guide here and the Governments guidance here.

This article is based on the “Government support available for landlords and renters reflecting the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak” & "Self-employment Income Support Scheme" guidance. It is intended as a guide only. It is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice. See more information.