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Covid-19 & Eviction: A Guide for tenants, landlords & home owners

The Government has introduced a number of measures to protect renters and home owners during the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure that nobody is forced out of their home during this time of uncertainty. The new rules apply to all types of tenancy, regardless of whether the landlord is a private landlord, a local authority or a social landlord.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 has now become law. This Act has now amended the requirements for all notices served in connection with seeking possession of a rented property. All notices must now give a minimum of three months notice. This applies regardless of the reasons why the landlord wishes to evict the tenant. This is now the legal position until 30 September 2020. This period of time can, if necessary, can be extended further by the Government.

Furthermore, the Government announced that as of 27 March 2020, all possession proceedings have been suspended. This means that neither cases currently in, or any about to go in, the Court system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possession actions will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed.  This covers all types of rented properties, as well as mortgage possession claims.

During this period, tenants are still required to pay their rent as normal, however, if tenants encounter financial difficulties, landlords and tenants are encouraged to work together to try to agree a payment schedule. The Government has also recently introduced a number of financial measures to assist anybody in financial difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes an agreement with mortgage companies that support can be put in place for anybody having difficulties in meeting mortgage payments, and this protection also extends to buy to let mortgages.

The Government has also reminded landlords that they remain legally required to comply with their repair obligations and that urgent essential repairs should still be carried out during this period. Non-urgent repairs should be completed at a later date.

These measures are of course a welcome relief for anybody concerned about their housing situation over the coming weeks and months. It is thought, however, that this will lead to an increase in possession claims being issued once the suspension of claims has been lifted.

If you are a tenant, landlord or home owner and have questions please ring our Housing Team on 01246468468 or fill out our enquiry form below. 

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