RENTING A PROPERTY
Q: I am just about to rent a property through you and the branch I am dealing with has closed due to Coronavirus. How do I manage to get into the property?
A: Whilst our branches are temporarily closed, we are still continuing to support our customers remotely. Please contact your local branch for details using the branch contact details shown on our website.
Q: The changes announced by the Government mean I have to stay in my rental property and so I need to cancel any non-essential maintenance visits. How do I do this?
A: Tenants are encouraged to make contact with us in the usual way via your local lettings office or direct to your landlord. Repair or maintenance activity will be re-scheduled for a time after the expiry of the current restrictions.
If you have been affected by the coronavirus, and when you are feeling better, you should clean the property following the government guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings.
Q: If, as a tenant, I have a serious property maintenance issue, how will you manage this if your branch is shut or your contractors are self-isolating?
A: We have a property management team that handles maintenance issues for landlords who subscribe to this service. This team will continue to work remotely.
For landlords who attend to their own repairs and maintenance issues, we recommend that they review government publications
Q: In line with the Government advice, I am remaining at home. I would like to view a property is there a way I can do this remotely?
A: It might be possible for us to make alternative arrangments. Please contact us directly and we will try to help.
Q: I am a current tenant(s) and my/our tenancy is coming to an end. Do I have the option to refuse visits from prospective tenants?
A: In line with the Government guidance we will not be arranging any viewings for the time being.
Q: I am due to vacate my rental property in the next few days and in light of the Government announcement what should I do now?
A: It is important that you make contact with us in the usual way through your local lettings office or direct to your landlord so we are aware that check-out will be delayed and we can advise others who may be affected by this delay such as the next tenant.
We will then arrange a revised check-out date with you and will be able to advise what further rent is applicable to the extended rental period.
If you have been affected by the coronavirus, you should clean the property following the government guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings. If you don’t, you risk the cost of cleaning being deducted from your security deposit.
Q: What do I do if I am worried, because of the coronavirus that I will lose my job and won’t be able to afford my rent, and could be evicted?
A: If you have any concerns about your current tenancy, we recommend that you follow the usual communication route via your local lettings office or direct to your landlord. Measures to protect tenants from eviction have been announced in England, Scotland and Wales
On 25 March 2020 the UK Government confirmed, in relation to England & Wales:
- Emergency legislation is being progressed to prevent the commencement of any new eviction proceedings from social or private rented accommodation for at least the next 3 months while this national emergency is taking place. This initial period could be extended to 6 months if needed. Evictions already in progress can proceed although this is dependent on relevant court procedures being available.
- This means that no new possession proceedings will commence via applications to the court will start during this period.
Landlords who have a mortgage may be able to request a 3 month mortgage payment deferral on their Buy to Let mortgage. During this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances. At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable payment plan for any arrears that have accrued how and when they can be repaid, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.
Tenants are reminded, that they have a legal obligation to pay rent, and are encouraged to discuss any difficulties with their property manager or Landlord.