Coronavirus - advice for private landlords, agents and tenants

The Government has provided clear advice on self-isolation and social distancing. In light of this, the City Council can confirm the following:

Landlords and agents

Advice for landlords/ agents where a request by a tenant for works has been made – If a tenant makes a request for works to be carried out at their home, only essential works can now be carried out; for example if works relating to electrical, including smoke alarms & emergency lighting or gas services are needed. If a repair or maintenance is deemed essential and a contractor can be found to do the works, relevant checks such as are people ill or just self-isolating should be made.

If it then safe to do so, a contractor should be able to enter a premises to effect a repair wearing suitable protective equipment, such as mask and gloves while maintaining the recommended safe distance from persons in the house. Any works that can be carried out externally while adhering to current advice can also be carried out. All non-essential works should be carried when the Government reverses the current lock-down.

The legal requirement to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before selling or letting a property remains in place. Guidance may be otained on the GOV.UK website.

For further information, visit the GOV.UK website.

More specific information about Covid 19 relating to gas safety can be found on the Gas Safe Register website.

Tenants

Advice for tenants where a request by the landlord/ agent has been made to enter premises. A landlord/ agent should only request access to carry out a repair or maintenance if the repair is essential, for example to maintain the supply of electricity or gas or to repair a fire alarm system or emergency lighting.

Relevant checks such as are people ill or just self-isolating should be made. If it then safe to do so, a contractor should be able to enter a premises to effect a repair wearing suitable protective equipment, such  as mask and gloves while maintaining the recommended safe distance from persons in the house. Any works that can be carried out externally while adhering to current advice can also be carried out. All non-essential works should be carried when the Government reverses the current lock-down.

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website and the Shelter website.

Evictions

From the the 26 March 2020 landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession.

From 27 March 2020  the court service will suspend all housing possession action for at least 90 days. This means that any renters who have already been given notice to quit cannot be evicted through the courts for at least 90 days.

The extended notice period applies to notices served after the legislation comes into force until 30 September 2020. It does not apply to notice periods for licensees or lodgers.

If you are a private tenant and you are being harrassed or told to move out of your home by your landlord, please get in contact with our Tenacy Relations Officer for help and advice on 01865 252267.

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Moving homes

The Government has changed the coronavirus (Covid-19) Regulations to allow individuals to move homes, during the outbreak. For further information on how this can be done safely, guidance is provided on the GOV.UK website.