The government has announced a package of measures to protect landlords affected by coronavirus. This can be summarised in the Government guidance for landlords.
For current guidance on self isolating for your tenants and information on laundry, shared spaces please see the NHS guidance. This guidance can change regularly so please keep up to date on this.
Rent Arrears due to Coronavirus
Banks and Building Societies are preparing to offer Landlords mortgage repayment holidays. You may want to investigate whether any loss of rent will be covered under your Landlord’s insurance or if your mortgage provider is offering a payment holiday.
Be aware that the government has also bought in legislation with regards to eviction:
- Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
- No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
- Landlords will also be protected as 3 month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages
Gas Safety checks
Guidance for landlords has been issued by Gas Safe for information in relation to obtaining Gas Safe certificates. Please check their website for further updates.
Obviously the situation is changing daily however landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent essential health and safety repairs should be made.
Thinking of evicting?
What notice do I serve?
To find this out check the tenancy agreement you have signed with your tenant. Once you have found this out you will then be able to determine the correct notice to serve. Serving the correct notice is important because if your tenant refuses to leave the property you must then go to court to enforce the notice; if your original notice is incorrect you will have to start the process all over again. See the Shelter and Direct Gov website below for further information or alternatively contact the Housing Department.
My tenant won't leave
If correct notice has been served but your tenant is unwilling to leave the property at the end of the tenancy, you must obtain a Possession Order from the County Court in order to legally evict them. It is extremely important that you, as the landlord, follow the correct legal procedure before evicting a tenant, as failure to do so may result in legal action taken against you by Worcester City Council for harassment and illegal eviction. If you are unsure what procedure to follow please see the Direct Gov website, the Notice That You Must Serve leaflet, or contact the Housing Department.
- GOV.UK - Advice to Evict A Tenant
- pdf Notice That You Must Leave Leaflet (229 KB)
- Housing Department - Contact Details
Can I evict my tenant myself?
No, the only person who can legally evict a tenant is a Court Appointed Bailiff. The bailiff will execute the Possession Order which has been issued to you by the County Court. If you are unsure what the procedure is for eviction check the Direct Gov website for advice on evicting tenants or contact the Housing Department.
How do I gain entry to my property?
As a landlord you are allowed to gain entry to your property if required. You are required to give reasonable notice to your tenant. We recommend that you give as long a notification period as possible before your visit. The Shelter website outlines some examples to tenants of what they consider harassment by a landlord or letting agent. Please visit the Shelter website for more information.
Mortgage arrears / being repossessed
If you are a landlord of a property and you are experiencing financial problems and struggling to meet your mortgage payments, you must act now as the sooner you act the more chance there is of resolving your problem.
You should first speak to your mortgage lender to inform them of your current situation and see if they can offer any solutions. You should contact Citizen Advice Bureau or the National Debtline who can offer confidential debt advice. Please find the numbers below. You may also find it useful to read the Mortgage Advice leaflet.
- Citizen Advice Bureau - 01905 611 371
- National Debt Line - 0808 808 4000
- Housing Advice Team - 01905 722 589
- Mortgage Advice Leaflet Leaflet
Housing Benefit is designed to help people on benefits or on a low income with their rental payments. If accepting a tenant in receipt of Housing Benefit you may need to consider if the rent is set in accordance with the Local Housing Allowance Rates. The Local Housing Allowance rates are available by visiting the Housing Benefit page.
The tenant may be required to pay some of the rent if the Housing Benefit does not cover the full amount of rent. In this case, you and the tenant should make arrangements on how this will be paid. For further information on Housing Benefit please visit the Housing Benefit page.
Landlords Forum – 19 March 2020 (Postponed)
The Landlords Forum due to take place on 19 March 2020 has been postponed until further notice. Please find below the slides for the presentations given at the most recent Landlord's Forum.
- Landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in the private rented sector
- Letting Your Property & Deposits
- Worcester City Lettings
- Repairs & Property Standards - Landlords Advice
- House in Multiple Occupation
- Welfare Reform and Privately Renting
- pdf The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Statement of Principles (49 KB)