Government extends added protection for renters
In response to the financial impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the Government has announced a package of protections for renters and landlords.
This includes the Coronavirus Act 2020 -
- The Act provides protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can start proceedings to evict tenants. The provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, which increased the required notice period length, have now been extended through legislation.
- This means that from 29 August 2020, with the exception of the most serious cases, landlords are not able to start possession proceedings unless they have given their tenants six months’ notice. These serious cases include those in relation to anti-social behaviour (including rioting), domestic abuse, false statement and where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of over six months’ rent.
- The stay on possession proceedings expired on 20 September 2020 and landlords will now be able to progress their possession claim through the courts. Courts will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes,
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 a strong package of financial support available to tenants, and where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.
- 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.
- On 2 June 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that borrowers can apply for an extension to any holiday already taken while extending the window for new applications to 31 October 2020.
- The mortgage payment holiday is not automatic, and landlords would need to apply to their lender to see whether they are eligible for this support on a case by case basis.
Updated support - 5th November
- Extension of mortgage payment holiday for homeowners. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage repayment holiday will be entitled to a 6-month holiday and those who have already started a mortgage repayment holiday will be able to top up to 6 months without this being reduced on their credit file. The FCA published draft guidance setting this out on the 2 November.