Coronavirus Update #3 For Landlords: Tenant Eviction & Repossession Bans

Coronavirus update: No one cares about landlords

As we all highly anticipated, there’s been further updates and confirmation from the Government this week on how landlords should manage evictions and repossessions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of us have been expecting eviction bans and major delays to all proceedings, so it fills me with great comfort to inform you that you will not be surprised by any of the announcements, which really is an act of mercy! We certainly cannot be wasting our precious and limited medical resources on despairing landlords toppling over from minor to severe stress induced heart-attacks due to unexpected eviction delays and prolonged periods of no rental income. Don’t be surprised if no one cares either.

Rightly or wrongly, we all knew this was coming for us.

I’m going to try and keep this one quick and to the point, so here’s a rundown of the updates to wrap your mullet around…

1) All ongoing housing possessions suspended!

As of today, 27th March 2020, the judiciary has suspended all current housing possession claims for 90 days (but this can be extended if needed), according to the official Gov press release:

…following a decision by the Master of the Rolls with the Lord Chancellors agreement the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the or any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed. This measure will protect all private and social renters, as well as those with mortgages and those with licenses covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This will apply to both England and Wales.

Thanks, err… Master of the Rolls (WTF? Seriously? Who comes up with it, aye?)!

So if you’re in the middle of a court case… sorry! I’ve been told that disrupted cases will restart as normal as soon as the temporary suspension is lifted (whenever that maybe).

Update (6th June 2020): Ban on evictions extended by 2 months to further protect renters

Well, it was always a possibility.

In hindsight, it seems like it was inevitable.

On the 5th June 2020, Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, announced on Twitter that “eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.”

Here is the Government’s official press release on the matter.

Effectively, it means the eviction ban has been extended by a further 2 months, until the 23rd of August 2020, making it a total of five months, and courts will not process eviction cases before then.

Have you been patiently waiting for the courts to reopen so you can get rid of a disruptive and psychotic tenant, that is draining your livelihood? Tough shit, you’ll have to wait longer.

Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.

– Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

I’m sure there will be mixed thoughts on the extension, but I can hazard a guess at which side of the fence most landlords will be sitting on.

I, personally, find it interesting that the Government has the gall to say that they’re “taking unprecedented action to protect tenants and landlords during these times”

I’ve certainly seen zero evidence of that.

Update (21st August 2020): further extension

Here we go… again!

On Friday 21st August, the government has extended the eviction ban until 20th September 2020.

Unless there is yet another extension, court proceedings should resume on 20th September 2020.

I understand the purpose of the extensions, but this doesn’t seem like a balanced or fair approach. Sure, further extend the prevention of “no-fault” evictions (i.e. when tenants haven’t breached any alarming conditions), but to further delay the eviction of genuinely BS tenants (e.g. those displaying antisocial behaviour), and potentially ruining the livelihood and mental well-being of decent landlords? That’s some real jacked up shit, right there.

If you are dealing with an utter dip-shit tenant, it seems negotiating with them is the best solution right now (if that’s even at all possible). It’s unlikely to be a pretty solution (i.e. you’ll probably have to swallow a dozen bitter pills and make some lop-sided compromises in favour of the tenant), but it will most likely be the quickest, and possibly the least costly in the long-run. Bear in mind, now we have to wait 5 months (in total) for the courts to reopen and contend with an inevitable backlog of cases. Relying on courts for evictions could literally take a year.

2) Section 8 & 21 notice period extended to three months (from two)

Not exactly a straightout “ban” as we were expecting, but an imminent delay, certainly.

On the 26th of March (yesterday), the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force.

In layman’s and legally unqualified terms (’cause that’s all I knows), the act confirms that from the 26th March 2020 until 30 September 2020 (again, this is subject to change depending on circumstances), any ‘notice to quit‘ (i.e. if you have grounds for eviction based on a breach, rent arrears, for example) or ‘notice seeking possession‘ (i.e. if you want to exercise your right to a “no fault” repossession at the end of the fixed term) requires three months notice, instead of the usual two months. Essentially, a one month extension to notice periods has been enforced.

That means we can still serve notice, but we need to provide our tenants with at least three months notice in all cases. Any notices served before the 26th March 2020 will remain valid. However, with all court proceedings shutting down for at least 90 days, I suspect it’s going to be extremely difficult to shift reluctant tenants that are clinging onto the stair handrails, anytime soon.

God help anyone who has to serve notice during this period, I’m sure it will go down like a lead turd. But I understand if it needs to be done. Notably, I saw the hashtag “#CoronavirusVillians” trending yesterday, which featured the likes of Richard Branson, Gordon Ramsay, Mike Ashley, and Philip Green, all of whom have been judged unkindly for their cutthroat shrewd business decisions during this he crisis. Just saying.

Update (28th August 2020): Section 8 & 21 notice period extended to six months (from three)

Things are certainly going from bad to horrendous at a rapid pace. The government have introduced a 6 month notice period in England.

From 29th August, landlords must provide at least 6 months’ notice prior to seeking possession through the courts. The new legislation applies to both private and social rented sectors and to all new notices (e.g Section 21 and Section 8), so it doesn’t apply to any notices issued before the legislation comes into force (29th August).

Notices served on and before 28th August are not affected by these changes, and must be at least 3 months.

Exemptions to 6 month notice periods

To help landlords in the worst cases, the government have provided some exemptions to the six month notice periods:

  • anti-social behaviour (now 4 weeks’ notice)
  • domestic abuse (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • false statement (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (now 4 weeks’ notice)
  • breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now 3 months’ notice)

6 month notices in Wales

In Wales, eviction notice periods have been extended to 6 months until 30th September 2020.

3) New S8 & S21 forms must be served during this period!

While the Coronavirus Act is in play (from 26th March 2020 up until 30 September 2020, at least), landlords must use new forms to serve notice (with at least three months notice), provided by the Gov:

The regular S21 and S8 forms will NOT be valid while the Coronavirus Act is enforced, so don’t use them from 26th March 2020. Don’t let me down!

Need tenant eviction / repossession legal advice?

Just before publishing this blog post, it dawned upon me that the sensible thing to do would be to reach out the MD of LegalforLandlords – to check if they’re able to continue providing free legal support for my subscribers (landlords) during this palava.

I’ll be right back.

*1 hour later*

I’ve been assured every division of their business is still operational and, I quote, “all Legals notices, updates, compliance has been rolled out so we’re as up to date as we can be as of today. We’re here to assist as always but bear in mind our phone lines have been busy.”

So if you’re in a bind and would like free landlord legal advice

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EPC Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Update

On a side note, I should probably remind everyone that the upcoming change to EPCs is still a real thing, even though it’s probably the least of anyone’s concern right now. Energy efficiency and fresh produce with a limited shelf life was cool last month, not so much this month.

This change has nothing to do with the Coronavirus Act, but it’s still a legal requirement that shouldn’t be ignored (I guess?).

On 1st April 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force. This required all landlords to ensure their rental properties in England & Wales have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’ for new tenancies and renewals.

As of 1st April 2020, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards will apply to all existing tenancies, not just new ones or renewals.

If you need to order an Energy Performance Certificate, you can book an assessment online from LettingAProperty for £69 inc VAT (starting price). You can also Google around for local suppliers. Needless to say, I’m not sure what the availability for assessors will be during this time. The word “limited” comes to mind.

As always, thoughts and words of encouragement all welcome!

Stay safe, my friends xo

Coronavirus: what you need to do!

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Showing 58 - 108 comments (out of 108)
Guest Avatar
Benji 31st March, 2020 @ 19:41

@Rainbow girl,

No, only when it is remarketed.

@The Landlord,

Muppet.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 31st March, 2020 @ 19:47

Ah yeah, to be fair, Benji is right. You only need to renew when you're marketing the property for sale or rent again!

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Rainbow girl 31st March, 2020 @ 20:21

@Benji
Thank you for taking the effort of replying and clarifying! Much appreciated.

@The Landlord
Thank you for attracting such a knowledgeable audience. It saves you from having to be always right ;-)

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Ray Malik 1st April, 2020 @ 09:27

I have a tenant that has not paid last months rent due to not being at work through this corona virus, however she says she is being paid the 80% of her wages, I have said that because she is still being paid even though it’s only 80% that she is still liable to pay the rent as that’s what it’s for. Am I right in thinking this or is she in her rights not to pay?

Please reply many thanks Ray.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st April, 2020 @ 09:33

@Ray
Tenants are legally obligated to pay rent regardless. It doesn't matter if they lost their job or if they're receiving grants etc.

In any case, there aren't any rules on how tenants should or shouldn't spend their salary (which is effectively what the 80% is). From an ethical standpoint, I think tenants should pay their rent if they're furloughed. But everyone is in survival mode right now, so paying rent might not be at the top of their agenda, especially since courts are closed for at least 90 days, and they're entitled to a 3 month notice period.

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Ray malik 1st April, 2020 @ 09:57

Thanks for your prompt reply, Comments most appreciated.

Ray

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Bob the Landlord 1st April, 2020 @ 22:34

Hi The Landlord.
Fantastic site, I wish I would have found this a while ago.

It seems that many of us are in the same boat with this. If people have lost their jobs and are unable to pay then fine, I can deal with that. It comes with the territory of being a Landlord.
My tenant, whose income is guaranteed, seems to think Boris' no evictions policy is a nice excuse to stop paying rent, knowing full damn well that they can't be evicted in the near future.

I am now in the conundrum of serving a s.21 notice and potentially having a pissed off tenant with nothing to lose who I can't evict for many months. Alternatively I wait it out to see how things develop. What a happy choice!

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Landlord Dave 2nd April, 2020 @ 12:44

Hi All

Firstly - what a fantastic blog, keep up the good work.

I am experiencing some problems with the COVID-19 situation and a Tenant that is unable to pay rent in full here's the facts:

- Tenant has been in the property since late last year, so relatively short term.

- All rental payments to date have been on times there or thereabouts.

- Tenant contacted recently, noting they have been affected by COVID-19 & have subsequently lost employment.

- The strange thing about this situation is 1 or 2 things don't add up, world pandemic aside, employment seemed to be lost at the end of the year and we have only just been told now (convenient).

- This has seriously lead me to question referencing provided by our agency.

- Tenant refuses to provide evidence of situation and has instead requested LL to make an offer of reduced payment and/or a mortgage holiday! (tail wagging dog).

- Tenant has become a misery to deal with and has become aggressive in communication.

- I am worried about the Government Guidelines as when applied to a circumstance it's contradictory i.e. you must be seen to accomodate your Tenant but then equally the monthly rent is still legally due - it doesn't really make sense when you reach this point.

- My own circumstances with insurance policies and whatnot mean I have saught advice and am following it to the letter. But generally speaking I'm still not feeling great at the prospect of issuing a S21 notice in the current climate nor building arrears with someone who IMO is taking advantage of a situation.

Would appreciate any thoughts on this and hope this helps any other LL in their hour of need, as we are ultimately stuck between a rock and hard place.

Thanks

Dave

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd April, 2020 @ 15:18

@Landlord Dave,

Thanks, appreciate it.

Looking at the situation objectively, it does sound like your tenant is taking advantage of the situation. I'm sure many landlords are facing the same situation. In fact, I know there are.

Essentially, the Government is saying we should do our best to accommodate tenants that are facing financial difficulties as best as we can, which may include temporarily deferring rent. The point being that it is only deferred, not a rent free period.

I would personally do the following:

- Offer a reduced amount (e.g. 75% of the regular rate), but make it clear it needs to be paid back.
- Not that it's any of his business, but inform him that a mortgage holiday still incurs interest which you will have to pay, and you may not even qualify for one. Lenders don't have to grant everyone a mortgage holiday.

Then see how he responds.

The reality is though, this doesn't sound like a tenant I would want to keep long-term, particularly because he's become aggressive and making you feel miserable. People often show their true colours in tough times. So I would also strongly consider serving him notice (depending on how he responds to your counter offer). The longer you leave it, the longer you'll be struck with him.

At this point, it's not just about the money, it's about his attitude! And no one will judge you for that.

You're right, it is a tough one! BUT, because he's being a bit of an ass, serving him notice for being in arrears wouldn't be the worst thing to do. Better that than dealing with super nice tenants that are unable to pay rent (trying to find a silver-lining for you here).

Best of luck, Dave.

Please keep us updated.

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Deb 8th April, 2020 @ 23:28

Hi
I am suffering the same ; I have a tenant who has been in a year always paid rent on time give a few days late or early .. He contacted me as soon as covid became a real thing and said he couldn't pay .. I asked him to send what he could but havent had a penny .. I found him thru an agent but manage myself the agent wont help at all now .. the tenant had stopped communicating till yesterday.. his wife says she can send me half of rent .. the husband has been working abroad on 120 k a year but says they are having to borrow money from in laws to feed the kids .. the last conversation I had with tennant when I pleaded to his better nature was just deal with it I'm not paying as I havent got it .. I have now found out he has a ten month prison sentence for beating someone up .. they are nearly 2 months behind with rent but I've decided to serve section 21 notice.. I suspect from a photo she screen shot that she had blanked most of it out that she has been claiming single persons benefits but not 100% on this ..I need my home back as I am currently living in lock down in a van .. please can you help

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Kris 13th April, 2020 @ 20:10

Hi, my tenant spilled the oil on the driveway. I have informed him that needs to be cleaned. No action to be taken since 4 weeks. I came round to clean the driveway myself and when he saw me started giving me abusive language. Can I evict him now for breaking the rules in his term to date contract as he's been aggressive. Also he told me that he changed locks and I can't come to property as he's self isolated. What can I do?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th April, 2020 @ 21:00

Hi @Kris,

What rules has your tenant actually broken? Because it sounds like you just turned up unannounced with your cleaning mop.

From what you've described, it doesn't sound like you have grounds for eviction, in my opinion.

In any case, you can still serve a Section 21 (Form 6A).

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... 13th April, 2020 @ 21:55

Hi kris
Contact legal 4 landlords so far they have been amazing with me ..
I have had to serve a section 21 and theyve done it all .
I'm just hoping my tenants move out on the date in 3 months so it doesnt have to go to court ..

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Lsg 15th April, 2020 @ 17:17

Anyone else got a tenant that has abandoned the property, subletting, left the country, refuse to give back possession and stopped paying the rent before the virus restrictions were put in place?

So frustrating... by the time we come out of this they will have horrendous debt that I have no expectations of being able to get out of them..

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th April, 2020 @ 21:41

@Lsg
Oh wow, that's quite a mix of issues. What an awful situation, that sounds ridiculously frustrating. I feel for you.

The reality is, since your tenant has left the country it's going to be near impossible to recover any money (unless they return?).

I would get in touch with legal4landlords to seek free legal advice as recommended by myself and another contributor (comment #70) to help you get your property back ASAP, and they can also guide you on rent recover and whether it's a likely scenario.

Best of luck, truly!!!

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Wjd 15th April, 2020 @ 21:59

Hi landlord

I've now served section 21 thru legal 4 landlords.. I am living in a van on lock down in Spain and my tenant isn't paying rent due to losing his job not because of the virus but because hes on a suspended prison sentence .. he hasn't messaged or acknowledged the notice .. what can I do now ? Is it just a waiting game with no rent to see if he moves out or not .. I really need to get home so I can get back to work and pay my mortgage .. I'm so frustrated I've been a good landlord and feel really let down ..

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th April, 2020 @ 22:12

Hi @Wjd
Ouch, another one!

Yeah, unfortunately it's a [extremely frustrating and long] waiting game. It usually always is in those situations! Did LegalforLandlord advise you on what your next steps should be?

I feel your pain. I think most good landlords have been let down at some point. It hurts. But it's a reminder of how important it is to find decent tenants is, and to never take any shortcuts with referencing (not saying you did).

Out of curiosity, is it one of those converted Transit vans you're living out of? Oddly enough, I've been following a couple of "Van life" YouTubers - looks like fun (minus the whole showering through a hose with cold water part).

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Wjd 15th April, 2020 @ 22:33

Hi
Yes my tenants were found thru an estate agent who did all the checks .. they were perfect on paper he worked abroad on 120k a year his mrs had 2 kids and to be fair always paid on time give a few days either way . She fell pregnant again and I even went round to drop a card off for the baby and we left on really good terms .. then he messaged a week after I'd left to go take a career break for 6 months to say he couldnt pay anymore .. I tried to reason with him and asked him to send whatever he could and could we work a payment plan out this was the day the government announced the new eviction rule . He turned nasty on the phone.. the agent isn't interested in helping me as I manage it myself. Theyve been in since last April.. I found out by accident about the offence he committed but the article I came across said he had 10 previous offences.. I rang the agent and they said they only do checks for bad credit etc even tho I paid £700 finders fee .. they even got my surname wrong on tenancy agreement so ice had to serve a section 48 first .. yes I should have noticed that 🙈

Regarding the van we had a converted long wheel based but now I'm part of the motor home brigade . I've worked all my life never claimed a penny in benefits but now feel I'm resented because I chose travel over material things .. my home was kept and rented for security for my future and inheritance for my daughter .. wished I'd just sold it and should have known not to rely on anyone but myself . I just want to go home go back to work and give up the dream

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th April, 2020 @ 22:52

Sounds like shocking service from the agent! Referencing usually checks for CCJs, Decrees, and other court information. If he had 10 previous offences you'd think something would have shown up in the report.

Either way, you'd hope they would be a little more helpful given the circumstances.

Don't give up on your dream, but I hear what you're saying. I'm sure it's difficult to relax when that is going on back home.

In any case, all we can do is hope the tenant moves out. If not, you'll have to go to court for a possession order once the notice has expired (and the courts have reopened).

You can also try and recover the debt if you think it's worth it, I know LegalforLandlords offer that service, too.

A RGI (Rent Insurance) policy would have been useful right about now. Next time, maybe! On that note, have you contacted your landlord insurer to see if there's anything you can claim against? Bit of a long shot, but some standard landlord insurance policies do partially cover legal costs and/or loss of rent. Might be worth checking your policy, or even contacting them directly.

Best of luck!

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Wjd 15th April, 2020 @ 23:11

Thanks ..
I will contact my insurance tomorrow I did contact them a couple of weeks back but that was before I found legal 4 landlords .. I might give my agent a call too .
Thanks

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Grumpy 16th April, 2020 @ 06:36

Wjd

How about checking to see what your agents service should have done. Maybe their agreement said they would check for CCJ credit checks etc but they didn’t. They you will have to leverage over them. They might had given you a contract when they agreed to do the ref check.

Converting a van to a stealth camper is a deep rabbit hole on YouTube. Not that I’ve spent a long time doing it either and have a stack of notes and welding course booked.....!😉

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Lsg 17th April, 2020 @ 09:56

Thanks for your response, we have emailed our MP explaining the situation, if the law isn't working right now maybe we can all apply pressure to the government to see if we can get them to update it. While I completely understand protecting those who are stuck in these awful circumstances, I do not understand protecting those people that are abusing what the government put in place.

Good luck all of you.

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Bill Jones 17th April, 2020 @ 10:23

Hi Landlord

I've just been served a section 21 form6a dated 16/04/2020 but it appears to be the old form with 2 months notice wording - is this form legal / valid or would they need to send me a new form? This was sent by the estate agents recorded delivery. We have never missed rent payments or late and I still have a job.

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Bill Jones 17th April, 2020 @ 10:26

Just to clarify they have given 3 months notice but the form is the old 6a form

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th April, 2020 @ 10:29

Hi @Bill

Pretty surprising you've been served notice. Maybe the landlord is facing hardship and needs the property back.

In any case, it sounds like the notice is invalid, because they need to use the new Form 6A (since 26th March), which states "You are entitled to at least three months’ notice before being required to give up possession of the property" - download link available in the main blog post.

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Grumoy 17th April, 2020 @ 10:46

Hi Bill,

If it’s the wrong form I would be inclined to do nothing, Wait as long as you can and until you start getting letters about evictions then inform them the form is incorrect and invalid and they will have to start again and reissue the correct form with another 3 month notice.

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Benji 17th April, 2020 @ 14:06

@Grumoy,

"inform them the form is incorrect and invalid and they will have to start again and reissue the correct form with another 3 month notice."

Ask them for a reference at the same time.

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Wjd 18th April, 2020 @ 01:02

I an really worried and so stressed .. my tenant isn't responding to anything not the section 21 not paying rent not replying back to me at all.. is there a chance I could loose my home.
.

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Grumpy (ex landlord) 18th April, 2020 @ 06:43

Wjd,

So long as YOU pay your mortgage I cannot see how you will lose your home.

You should keep using the legal4landlords and let then see through the eviction processs.

It will take months though.

If you cannot pay your mortgage you should contact the bank and explain to give you time.

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Lsg 18th April, 2020 @ 09:00

@WJD

Hi, try what we have.. contact your local MP and explain the situation and how the tenant is abusing governments legislation. Maybe if enough people raise it they will help landlords too by amending it to stop the tenants taking advantage

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Wjd 18th April, 2020 @ 09:09

Ok thank you..
I just do not understand the law .. I have never claimed benefits always worked 2 or more jobs at a time.. had a mortgage since I was 19 years old yet because I chose to rent out to someone who was happy to enter a tenancy agreement can now just decide not to pay or respond and I have to be the one who is careful so I dont upset him .. LsG regarding contacting local MP do I just google that ?

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emediong 12th May, 2020 @ 10:24

I left my appartment i rented because of the covid19 lockdown for 2 months on coming back my landlord ask me to pay for the house rent for the months i was not around.. do i have the right not to pay

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th May, 2020 @ 10:37

@emediong
If the tenancy agreement wasn't terminated, yes.

If you just left the apartment, you're still responsible for paying the rent.

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David Kavanagh 10th June, 2020 @ 14:57

Gosh, what painful experiences. Having got out of the business 2 or 3 years ago, reading these posts brought it all back. One aphorism I tried to cling to was that all bad things eventually come to an end. It is truly a terrible business to be in.

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David 10th June, 2020 @ 15:19

@Landlord

I was told months ago that it would be September before a claim could be STARTED.

I have advised that people get their Coronavirus version of the S21 notice sent so that they are ready to go, but there is something else you and your readers should be aware of.

In the UK the Courts process 10,000 evictions a month, they had a backlog of around 20,000 when the legislation was brought in to suspend proceedings. Meanwhile the there is an estimate of around 60,000 newly sent 3 month eviction notices ready to be eligible for hearings by September.

The run rate of 10,000 a month will not change so depending on what part of the Country you are the claim delays could take over a year to resolve, some even say two years to deal with the backlog.

To reduce the backlog you can expect the Court to be ultra vigilant on the validity of the paperwork and you can expect housing advice and defendant law firms to advise tenants to challenge the paperwork.

So my advice is to first seek a settlement but if you can't do that then to make sure all T's are crossed and all I's dotted.

Remember you are deferring any reduction, I suggest asking for evidence of furlough by means of payslips showing before and after. Alternatively a letter from employer saying will or will not be furloughing (some refuse because it extends the rights of redundancy and gives an obligation on holiday pay).

So if a tenant is furloughed it is reasonable to ask for 80% to be paid with 20% to be deferred.

Meanwhile Landlords may ask for a payment holiday, this was first 3 months but then extended to 6 months. This usually involves extending the Mortgage for the appropriate period, if done with agreement of your lender it does not impact credit record.

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Dee 10th June, 2020 @ 16:44

Hi thanks for the update today.

There was a query a few weeks ago about EPC's for properties with current tenants. I was in this position myself and found the following guidance. It is clear you cannot wait until the next AST. Hope this helps.

On 1st April 2018, it became a legal requirement for residential landlords to ensure their Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have a minimum rating of E. The regulations initially only applied for a new tenancy to a new tenant and a new tenancy to an existing tenant. Now, this law has been extended.

In April 2020, the new MEES rules will apply to all existing lets. At this point, you will need an EPC rating of an E or above to let your property at all.

Even if your tenancy is already underway and you have no plans to renew, after April 2020, you will need to have an EPC rating of E or above or you could face fines.

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Peter 10th June, 2020 @ 17:22

5 months suspension + backlogs = around 12 in total! What happens if/when the LL becomes bankrupt due to non paying T's?

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Grumpy 10th June, 2020 @ 18:34

Peter.... doomed.
The government (either party) don’t give a flying f..... about landlords. It’s a one way push to reduce house prices by forcing landlords to sell up. The small landlord has zero bargaining power.
Whereas the “people” (voters) hate the capitalist scumbag landlord.

Grumpy
(Ex landlord - where’s is my emoji 😉)

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Riz 10th June, 2020 @ 20:30

Once again the landlord suffers. My tenant has not paid a single penny since October 2018. Now I finally get a section 21 issued evictions are on hold. My tenants has moved other people into the property an the rent is getting paid direct to them. I had to move back in with my mum with with young child. Only put my home on rent for 6 months an almost 2 years down the line I cannot get my home back. How is that right.

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Jay smith 10th June, 2020 @ 20:33

Absolutely disgusting blog! People have lost their jobs over no fault of their homes and all these landlords care about is tossing families out of their homes to become homeless. This is why people have landlords they have no sympathy or heart for hard working class people.

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Laz 10th June, 2020 @ 21:29

The law is not fit for purpose from the point of view of the landlord - end of. Due to scumbag tenants who take advantage to scam honest landlords I will never issue an AST. I will only rent out rooms to lodgers so I can kick out these d***heads without having to go to court when they show their true colours. I can't see any other way else career evil tenants will continue to take the p***.

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Laz 10th June, 2020 @ 21:38

Jay Smith - get a grip! forget for a second your socialist brainwashing! The Bolshevik revolution is in the graveyard of history. Landlords aren't a charity they are a business. Do you expect other businesses to give you thousands of pounds for nothing? If you set up a business will you be happy to go bankrupt because hard working class need your money? The government could quite easily have compensated landlords for lost rental income during coronavirus. Instead they decided that landlords should be robbed. Landlords can well be working class people that invested their life savings to make a modest pension which they now rely on.

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lisa 11th June, 2020 @ 08:46

Please could somebody clarify.... I have various properties with EPCs due with tenants in situ, do I need to get this done now whilst they are in there or can I wait until I market the property? My EPC company have said it is like a gas safe it needs to be valid even if you have a tenant in a property

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The Landlord 11th June, 2020 @ 09:57

@Lisa
Hmm is this is a property in England or Wales? If so, I don't believe your EPC company is right. It's def not like a gas safety check.

EPC's are valid for 10 years, and after that time, you can wait to renew them when you market the property. You can also choose to renew them earlier if you have made energy efficient improvements to the property before the expiration date.

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The Landlord 11th June, 2020 @ 09:59

@Grumpy
Giving you an "Ex landlord" avatar/emoji is giving you permission to openly gloat!

I refuse :)

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The Landlord 11th June, 2020 @ 10:11

@David
Ah, good point about the backlog. I've added that issue into the update.

I agree, negotiating/settling seems like the most effective solution at the moment. Many landlords will be out of business by the time the courts reopen.

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Pete 11th June, 2020 @ 16:29

I've got a good idea. Why not sell up - squirrel the money away - soak up all the benefits- rent somewhere but don't pay it - move on to the next mug - so free accommodation for years whilst living it up on the med'! Simple!

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Grumpy 11th June, 2020 @ 17:05

#landlord

Unsporting sir....I would never gloat. I feel your pain from a death by 1000 cuts.

Grumpy

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bob smith 3rd August, 2020 @ 13:55

Served Section 21 to tenant back at beginning Feb before lockdown, been told that as I have not yet taken them to court and the section 21 is over 6 months old it no longer valid, is this correct?

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Gwen 23rd October, 2020 @ 21:32

Great site. Have question, trying to sell my flat notice served on tenant papers sent to court, if I find buyer can i assign the court order to new buyer so that they can get the bailiffs in? Tenant wants council house licensed property had another child so now overcrowding

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owena 4th November, 2020 @ 08:08

Headsup! Have been waiting for Pre Covid WOP to be executed since suspension of evictions lifted 20/9. Had letter from the County Court dated 22/10... Note, a whole month- to advise if I want it to proceed, to write confirming, + up dated Bailiff risk assessment. So replied dutifully. Tenant by the way, now abandoned, no keys returned, no confirmation of departure never to return, despite my asking, in arrears + 1 yr, made fraudulent application etc etc.

So pop along after seeing/ paying solicitor for advice on process....is Abandonment notice served early Sept legal, change locks ( done + a month after departure noted) the road to go down, consequences....or follow waiting the court bailiffs to get through to mine so I can get in, redecorate, sell, get out of being LL...to find tenant( or keys given to a mate) been back, couldn't get in, snapped key off in lock.....

Sol says he has indicated by his return he hasn't abandoned it..( all furniture, chief possessions taken, cable to electric cooker cut off at wall!!!)

So, having returned reply already, ring court again to question ( again) where my eviction case is in the queue...to be told NO eviction warrants have been executed,or will be before 11/12 ( read further) and the Bailiffs ( all 2 of them for the whole of Lincolnshire) have been directed to work on other Bailiff related duties..chasing money and non payments....and they have been directed to suspend evictions from 11/12 until 11/1/2021 Xmas period, obviously someone some where in Judiciary..or perhaps Mr Jenrick himself, directed this be the way forward.

So, I ask, foolish..or sheer cussedness on part tenant to ignite my request for keys back and confirmation he's left ( now 2 months ago) means he will continue to be liable for rent ( according to Solicitor) right up until Bailiff executes the Warrant...which could be another year, so tenant already owes +£7.8k, it's going to wrack up into +£10k at this rate. Court clerk says matters not if they have left, to obtain legal possession I must wait...can't get in ( without changing locks again) to make house gas/electric/ central heating drain down for winter).

Just wondering, as half the key is in the lock...maybe this was the tenant's way of "returning the key". Can't find any clues as to how ( not having asked sol, and having to cough up more £££ s to ask/ get answer) and if I could cancel the warrant of possession, and as tenant has left, he has acted according to the Order of Possession issued Feb, but belatedly after Covid lockdown window lifted. And for those socially minded folk, he has worked throughout the period and just decided he wasn't going to pay a jot.

MP took case up with Secretary if State, no less, who was at pains to explain what he had done for LL with a mortgage...but if course my MP will have explained I didn't have one, and this was my only real source of income..and HMRC and their various support schemes didn't apply to.me 'cos of course I am not in business...I am an INVESTIR and as such entitled to diddlyshit.

So can't get house back..son thinks I should risk going in, decorating, selling and worry later about my ( ex) tenant suing me and me getting a criminal record for doing that possibly..for something I own and was meant to be living off...whilst he carries on without a criminal conviction, only a Civil record of CCJs...going around the country doing this...yes..he's a serial rent defaulter and his lovely wife a serial debtor...HCEOs been round chasing her, and him subsequently...and breeding like mice.....

The law is an Ass, Mr BJ PM is an Ass, I am an Ass for ever thinking I could live off rental income until the deferred ( female ) pension I didn't get at 60, kicks in when I am 66.......

Oops, stolen the BLOG limelight...answers on a postcard, please.

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