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Government publishes coronavirus guide for landlords and tenants

Jessica Nangle

March 31, 2020

The government has published a guide to support landlords and tenants understand the implications of the recently drafted Coronavirus Act 2020.

The act will enforce that most landlords will not be able to start possession proceedings unless they have provided tenants with three months’ notice or more until 30 September 2020.

As well as provisions detailed in the act, the Master of the Rolls recently suspended housing possession cases in the courts, which affects new or existing claims for possession from 27 March.

The guidance “strongly advises” landlords not to commence new notices seeking possession during this time without “very good reason to do so”.

The guidance also details that its purpose is to “support and encourage landlords to take a common sense approach to tackling housing issues during the coronavirus outbreak”.

The 21-page document answers key questions regarding subject matters such as rent arrears and mortgage repayments.

It also outlines the new protection for tenants under the new act, which comes into force on 26 March, and provides advice on health and safety obligations during the crisis.

The guidance outlines what are classed as “urgent” health and safety issues, but asks landlords and tenants to exercise a level of pragmatism and common-sense approach to non-urgent issues.

In addition, any property inspections should be done virtually rather than face-to-face.

You can read the guide here.


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