Government announces radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.
The government has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus. As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.
Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.
Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, the government has confirmed that the three month mortgage payment holiday announced yesterday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. This will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.
“The government is clear ‚Äď no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts,” Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said. “These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.¬†These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”
To support this announcement the government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‚Äėpre-action protocol‚Äô on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.
The government has emphasised that landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants‚Äô individual circumstances. It will issue guidance to ask landlords to show compassion and to allow tenants who are affected by this to remain in their homes wherever possible.
The National Housing Federation and Local Government Association have welcomed the new support for social renters and made clear that no one should be evicted because of the coronavirus.¬†Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords association, said that landlord groups would welcome government support. “We recognise the exceptional circumstances and we will work collaboratively with government to ensure these measures protect both landlords and tenants,” Ben Beadle said.
This important step on buy to let mortgages ensures parity of support, further to the announcement yesterday that the government made for private mortgage holders. As we wrote earlier, those who have benefited from a government backed Help to Buy equity loan will also be offered interest payment holidays if they are struggling to pay due to coronavirus.
Image: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK / Gary Butterfield