Housing Update due to COVID-19

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HOUSING CONCERNS DURING COVID-19

FOR BOTH TENANTS AND LANDLORDS

We can understand many people in our community will be concerned about paying rent as they do not have their regular incomes, and contemplating whether they could be evicted during this current corona virus situation.

Similarly, landlords in our community may struggle if they do not receive the rent they are entitled to, and wonder what their rights are at this time.

The government has established a non-statutory guidance for landlords and tenants in the private and social rented sectors, the full booklet can be accessed using this link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876500/Consolidated_Landlord_and_Tenant_Guidance_COVID_and_the_PRS_v4.2.pdf

These new rules will be in place till 30th September 2020; however the government may choose to extend the date if needed.

A few important points to be noted are:

·        A landlord cannot evict tenants for the next 3 months.

·        If a landlord does give an eviction notice, it will now be a 3 month notice and not the usual 2 months notice.

·        All tenants still have a legal obligation to pay their rent. If they are out of work, they can claim Universal Credit, or if furloughed from work they will receive 80% of their salary from their employer.

·        An agreement can be made between the landlord and tenant where they allow a smaller percentage of rent to be paid, with how many months this will go on for stated. Additionally, this must be in writing so there is evidence of the agreement, be it a signed and dated contract or an email conversation where both parties have said they agree to terms.

·        Then, the outstanding amount from these months will be paid at a later date in full. Or it can be proportionately added to the rent every month after the agreement is over till it is cleared.

·        Landlords can seek a 3 month payment holiday on their mortgage from their mortgage lender. Please be noted the interest accumulated during the 3 months will be added to your existing mortgage amount and recalculated.

·        Tenants who are eligible for housing benefits should apply.

Please read the guideline attached in the link above, and if you need a better understanding of your rights, you can contact us at HAWA Hub or seek legal advice. This information is correct as of 10th April 2020.

~The HAWA Team

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