During this challenging time, it is full of uncertainty, and it will not end over night. So the UK government has made some changes to ensure the situation of COVID-19 can be controlled and the UK property industry is still well maintained.
The following are the top changes for you to take note as a landlord.
No more random landlord visit or house viewings
Based on the new renting guideline published by the UK Government, if you want to visit the property for viewing purposes or bring in new tenant, you shall notify the existing tenant at least 24 hours before the visit. Unless there is an emergency case like tenant cant use the hot water, then only you can enter the property for repair without prior notice.
During the visitation, the landlord should advise the existing tenant to stay in their own room or stay outside the property until the viewing process is ended. Landlord shall open all of the window or door for ventilation and do not allow the visitor to touch any surface, especially the door handle.
No immediate Possession Proceedings
In some circumstance, the landlord wishes to take back the property and stop the letting contract with tenants. This action is only doable if the landlord has given the notice to the existing tenant at least 6 months notice in advanced. It is a mandatory law in provisions for the Coronavirus Act 2020, and it is effective from 29th August 2020.
For example, if you wish to take back the property and given the written notice to tenants at 1st November 2020, you will only have the right to evict the tenants and stay in the mentioned property at 30th April 2021. Throughout this period, the landlord has no right to evict or cancel the tenancy contract without any compensation to tenants.
No obligation to reduce or stop collecting the rents
Yes, it is not mandatory to enforce the landlord stop of reduce your rent being paid. However, it is wise to talk to the tenants and discuss if they are facing difficulty in paying the rent.
In case, if tenants fall into financial difficulties due to a change in their employment or earnings, the landlord also has no right to evict the tenant immediately without proper discussion and mediation. We know it is easier to talk than taking action. This is the point where you need to have a middle man like a letting agent mediate the conflict between you and your landlord. Click here and find out how Letting Options 4U helps landlord with a STRESS-FREE HMO Management Service.
Get ready for tenant to end the contract earlier (with or without proper notification)
Technically, tenants are liable to pay the rent for the whole of the contractual notice period, or the whole of the fixed term but, if a new tenant can be found quickly, allowing the agreement to end early and this need not cause you to suffer any loss. If you have let your HMO property to Letting Options 4U, you can pretty much ignore on this section as we still pay the rental to you if the tenant is not paying the rent.
Suppose the tenant is leaving the property without proper notice or just by returning back the key. In that case, Landlords could do this by using any contact information which the tenant submitted at the start of the tenancy, such as contacts for rent guarantors or friends and family. If they are still unable to locate their tenant, they may wish to use a tracing agent.
Remember, do not change the door lock until you got confirmation that their tenant has left. Otherwise, a court may find that you, as a landlord, have evicted their tenant illegally.
Could you still get a new tenant for your property?
Yes, you can, but you have to adapt some changes to the process from house viewing until signing the tenancy agreement. You have to contact the existing tenant at least 24 hours before visiting the property and ensure they are not are symptomatic or self-isolating.
Refer to this guideline before you pay a visit with a new potential tenant.
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