Updated Guidance Published on Dealing with Covid-19

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Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability, the Government has confirmed in updated guidance to tenants and landlords about dealing with the coronavirus lockdown.

Landlords, meanwhile, are advised they should ‘offer support and understanding to tenants who may start to see their income fluctuate’.

Where problems arise that could affect tenants’ ability to pay their rent, they should alert their landlords. ‘An early conversation between landlord and tenant can help both parties to agree a plan if tenants are struggling to pay their rent. This can include reaching a temporary agreement not to seek possession action for a period of time and instead accept a lower level of rent, or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date’.

If landlord and tenant agree a plan to pay off rent arrears, ‘it is important they both stick to this plan, and that tenants talk to their landlord immediately if they are unable to do so’, says the guidance.

The Covid-19 and renting guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is not mandatory but some aspects, such as the current moratorium on evictions, are backed by the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The guidance is subject to updates and the Government has urged landlords and tenants in England to stay alert and to abide by updates published at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Guidance from the Welsh Government is available at: https://gov.wales/housing-coronavirus, and from the Scottish Government at: https://www.gov.scot/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance/. 

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