We have been updated with the following which is for your information to help understand new ruling during this time: –
Evictions Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, from 26 March 2020 until 30 September landlords will have to give all renters three months’ notice if they intend to seek possession of the property. When using either Section 8 or Section 21 notices to quit, landlords must give at least three months’ notice before they can apply to the court for possession. This applies regardless of which ground is used for Section 8. Courts
Prescribed Forms The UK Government has changed Form 6A Notice seeking possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to reflect the change in law under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Form 6A should be used by landlords in England up to 30 September 2020.
As well as the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 all housing possession cases in the courts have been suspended.
All new or existing claims for possession are suspended for a 90-day period from 27 March 2020.
The legislation covering notice periods is in force until 30 September 2020. It is subject to review and may be extended.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
The UK Government has released information confirming that the legal requirement to obtain an EPC when letting a property remains in place, but EPC assessments should only be conducted where they can be done in line with the safety guidance relating to Coronavirus.
Where possible delay the EPC assessment until the stay-at home measures to fight Coronavirus are no longer in place.
If it is not possible to delay the assessment, and a valid EPC is not available from the EPC Register, an assessment may need to be carried out.
Where an EPC assessment needs to be carried out, the UK Government’s social distancing measures and guidance for carrying out work in people’s homes must be adhered to.
EPC assessments can continue where a property is empty. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (fact sheet available)
The rules were not impacted by COVID-19 and the remaining provisions came into force on 1 April 2020. Since 1 April 2020, the ban on letting properties with an EPC rating of F and G was extended to cover all existing tenancies.
Renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new property while emergency measures are in place to fight Coronavirus. If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on maintaining social distancing to minimise the spread of Coronavirus.
Maintenance and repairs
Landlords’ repair obligations have not changed.
Access to a property is only recommended for serious and urgent issues.
Where reasonable and safe, and in line with other Government guidance, agents should make every effort to review and address issues brought to their attention by tenants and keep records of their efforts.
Gas Safety Certificates
Landlords should make every effort to follow existing gas safety regulations. Where a landlord cannot carry out their obligations, they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.
Electrical safety Standards.
The rules are still scheduled to come into force for new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.
Where landlords can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, they will not be in breach of the rules—this includes a duty to comply with a remedial notice.
Where agents are unable to gain access to a property, agents should document both their efforts to do so and all communication with tenants. Attempts to carry out the work should then start again once social distancing and self-isolation measures have been lifted.
Right to Rent Checks
As of 30 March 2020, the UK Government made temporary changes to ensure that Right to Rent checks continue in line with the Code of Practice – it remains an offence to knowingly rent premises to a person who is not lawfully in the UK.
Checks can be carried out as video calls.
Tenants can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals.
Agents should use the Home Office Landlord’s Checking Service where a tenant cannot provide documents.
Mortgage lenders have agreed to offer payment holidays of up to three months where this is needed due to Coronavirus-related hardship, including for Buy-To-Let mortgages.
The sum owed remains and mortgages continue to accrue interest during this period.
Where a tenant is unable to pay their rent in full the landlord, if they have a mortgage, should discuss this with their lender.