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Government Guidance for Landlords and Tenants in response to Covid-19

April 02, 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have produced a helpful guide for Landlords and Tenants in response to Covid-19 and the recent Coronavirus Act. It is quite long, so we have tried to summarise the advice below. However, if you would like to read the whole document, you can find it here. General Government advice can be found here.

If you need to contact Hexagon the best ways are to;

1)      Rents and Mortgage Payments

Q. As a tenant, should I stop paying rent during the outbreak?

A. Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all terms of tenancy. If you have concerns about rent payment please contact Hexagon urgently as we will be able to assist.

Q. What can I do about rent arrears?

A. It’s important that landlords offer support and are understanding. This could include a temporary agreement not to begin possession action, or make a plan to pay off at a later date. However if you have concerns, please contact Hexagon urgently as we can assist. Don’t wait until a debt has built up.

Q. As a leaseholder, freeholder or shared owner what can I do about mortgage payments?

A. Mortgage lenders have agreed to offer a payment holiday for up to 3 months. Details of this scheme can be found by following the link here. If you have concerns about mortgage payments please contact your lender. If you are a shared owner with concerns about rent payment please contact Hexagon as soon as possible and we will be able to assist.


2)     
Property Access and health and safety

While the Government is asking everyone to do all they can to stop the virus spreading there is a commitment to helping ensure everyone renting their home is safe and has a decent place to live. Landlords are being asked to take a common sense approach, and asking tenants to work in partnership to keep rented property safe.

Q. What does this mean for repairs in my home?

A. Landlords’ repair obligations have not changed. But in these times the Government is encouraging landlords and tenants to take a pragmatic approach to non-urgent issues. However tenants should still notify the landlord of any issues in the home. In response to Covid-19 Hexagon is at present doing emergency and urgent repairs only. However if you have a non-urgent repair please let us know and we will register it for when the current restrictions are lifted.

Q. What if my boiler breaks, or something else happens which is an urgent risk to my health?

A. Landlords’ responsibilities have not changed. Where reasonable and safe, Government guidance is that you allow access to remedy urgent health and safety issues.

Q. My landlord wants access for viewings for sale or letting. Do I have to let them in?

A. Access is only proposed for serious and urgent issues. It unlikely that Hexagon will seek to conduct viewings of occupied property, for letting or sale, during this time.

Q. What if I have a move planned?

A. Government advice is to delay moving to a new home while the emergency measures are in place. If unavoidable for contract reasons people must follow advice on social distancing. If you are a current or potential resident with Hexagon this situation arises for you please discuss your circumstances with us.

Q. What should I do if I think I may have the virus?

A. You should follow Government Guidance. You should tell everyone you share the property will immediately so they can make informed decisions. If your landlord needs to visit for urgent reasons you should inform them and agree to sensible precautions. Nobody can be removed from their home because of the virus, nor are landlords obliged to provide alternative accommodation for tenants if others in the property contract the virus. When you contact Hexagon for a service that involves access to your home it is vital that you let us know if you have the virus or are self-isolating.

 

 

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