Last week we were pleased to hear that John Healey, the Shadow Housing Secretary, had promised a ban on evictions during the Coronavirus outbreak. But, the released legislation actually shows that the evictions are not “banned” but, instead, the notice period has been extended from 2 months to 3 months.
Not much of the “complete ban” promised!
Well, it does mean that you can provide notice to your tenants if you need to. However, the guidance from other bodies, such as The Residential Landlords Association, is recommending patience and negotiating payment management processes once we reach a new “normal”.
The Government guidance being issued also urges landlords to show compassion to their tenants and to provide stability in this time of crises by avoiding evictions where possible during the Coronavirus outbreak. In addition, the Government also has the ability to extend this new evictions notice period from 3 months, to 6 months, should they need to in the wake of the Coronavirus crises.
Finally, the Government has added additional requirements to possession proceedings meaning that private renters are included and landlords and tenants will be expected to engage with each other to resolve issues, reach agreements and consider the financial position of the tenants before evictions take place.
The PM and the Government are coming under fire from many MPs who are looking out for their constituents and pushing for changes to this process stating that this new legislation is “watering down” the PM’s original promise to tenants. The housing charity, Shelter, also called for a change to this legislation, saying that a “wholesale and complete halt” to all evictions is needed during this outbreak, to ensure people don’t lose their homes.
If you are worried about how the Coronavirus outbreak is going to affect your tenants, property portfolio or you as a landlord, our team is here to help. Get in touch here.