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Yesterday 19/3/2020 the Government announced measures to protect tenants and landlords during this unprecedented pandemic …read the press release here.

These measures include:

1, Emergency legislation suspending new evictions from social or private rented accommodation for a period of time
2, No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis for at least a 3 month period
3, Homeowner 3 month mortgage payment holidays extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to corona virus.

At the end of the 3 month period the Government expects landlords and tenants to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances. It is important to note that this ‘holiday’ is simply that. Mortgage and rental arrears will  need to be paid at some point and may accrue interest. 

The Government is not suggesting tenants stop paying their rent. Nor is it suggesting any arrears or shortfalls be written off. Mortgage providers may have their own criteria and terms so it is paramount that landlords speak to their individual providers.  It is essential that tenants discuss any financial difficulty with  their  landlord and agent. At this time the Government has not extended this payment holiday to tenant rental payments per se. Any agreement to reduced rental payments would require Landlords written agreement.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said:

“The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.”

“These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.”

“These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”

We expect more announcements and guidance on this including issues such as criteria,  implementation, contractual obligations, evictions already in process and long term difficulties. 

If you are an AB Landlord or Tenant please do contact us to discuss any issues you might be experiencing with rental payments.