Radical Changes To Protect Renters Affected by COVID-19
The Government is introducing emergency legislation with the primary aim of protecting individuals and families in rented accommodation who are affected by coronavirus.
This legislation follows the introduction of “mortgage payment holidays” of up to three months for struggling homeowners, and a similar scheme has now been replicated for landlords with buy-to-let mortgages in order to give them some support, should struggling tenants cease paying rent.
The effect of the emergency legislation is that no new possession proceedings (ie eviction proceedings) can be commenced for three months during this national crisis.
Whilst this may be frustrating for the small number of landlords whose tenants are already in several months of arrears, this decision is key to protecting vulnerable tenants who may be experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus or who are self-isolating.
Landlords are urged to show compassion in this difficult time, and work with tenants to discuss an affordable repayment plan that is workable for both parties. It is hoped that the “mortgage payment holidays” now available for buy-to-let properties will relieve pressure on landlords and allow them to reach workable arrangements with tenants who are struggling.
It is hoped that further detail, including whether and how ongoing possession proceedings will be impacted, will be announced shortly when the legislation is published.
For further information or advice, please contact Holly Baker from our Dispute Resolution team on [email protected].