THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LANDLORDS
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See also our page on eviction advice especially the section of Pre-Action Protocol.
If you do suffer from some loss of rent we suggest you take the following steps with your tenant(s):-
- Firstly, from March 25th all landlords have to follow the Pre Action Protocol, previously for Social Landlords only.
The full protocol can be seen here, our summary here.
- re-assure them them that you want to work with them, to minimise any problems;
- however, remind them they have a contractual duty to pay rent; also remind them there is considerable Government assistance coming on stream soon, and it is their responsibility to take advantage of any such assistance.
- Be prepared to assist them make the application. However much of it will be automatic – Universal Credit/LHA will automatically rise; if they are employed it is up to their employer to apply for the Government grant to pay (ut to) 80% of their salary.
- keep your rent schedule up to date.
- Be prepared to accept a reduction in rent. If they are getting only 80% of their salary, surely it is better for you to also accept a reduced rent on the basis some rent is better than none – especially as you can’t evict.
- If you believe the tenant(s) is actually capable of paying, and just taking advantage remind them that you can still pursue a claim for rents due through the courts (Money Claim On Line) even if you can’t start eviction proceedings.
- you might want to send them a Letter Before Action
But please only use this kind of action for a genuine case where the tenant can’t claim they have lost income due to the Coronavirus.
Courts will not take kindly to action brought to someone who has genuinely lost income because of the Coronavirus.
Other considerations for your tenants are those who have to self isolate, especially any who have no-one to help them.
On the rare occasions you can find food in the shops can you do their shopping as well, or help them apply for home delivery (assuming you can now find one).
Establish whether they need their medicines renewed. If they are not able/willing to apply online you might be able to drop their repeat prescription off at the surgery; put a note on it that the applicant is self isolating.
If you can email your tenants, then send them the link to NHS advice, or consider printing it and dropping copies off at the property.
If you are running an HMO try to encourage the tenants to stay in their own room, and to ensure they don’t share crockery; cutlery; towels, etc.