There have been a lot of changes in the property market over the last 12 months due to the pandemic and the impact of Covid-19 on all areas of the economy shows no sign of stopping. It can be hard to decipher fact from fiction and keep up to date with current legislation. We offer property management advice and support for both landlords and tenants in relation to residential and commercial property and the eviction ban has been a controversial and emotive topic of late. So here is your one-stop guide to your rights and what the latest situation is at the time of writing.

The ban on rental property evictions enforced by bailiffs in England ended on 31st May. The ban was brought in during the coronavirus pandemic. Residential eviction notice periods, which had been extended to six months as an emergency measure, have now been reduced to four months as of 1st June, except in certain circumstances such as anti-social behaviour when it will be shorter. If lockdown restrictions are eased as of 19th July then notice periods will return to how they were pre-pandemic from 1st October, which is two months.

This is good news for those landlords looking to sell their property but have been unable to due to it being tenanted, as well as those who have suffered with rent arrears and a breach of tenancy. Bailiff-enforced evictions are also now allowed; however, 14 days’ notice is still required, and bailiffs have been asked not to evict anyone who is self-isolating or has Covid symptoms.

Obviously this might be cause for concern for some tenants as in February, the Resolution Foundation stated that almost half a million UK families were believed to have fallen behind on rent. But there is still extensive financial support to help people pay off rent arrears that have accrued as a result of the pandemic. The furlough scheme and Universal Credit uplift have also been extended until the end of September.

Everyone is keen for the sector to recover and for this to happen, tenancies must try to be sustained and the rent debt crisis must be tackled. The Government is also being called upon to introduce a Covid “rent debt fund” to allow tenants to clear debts and landlords to claim for lost income. We are looking forward to seeing how the Government will respond and will of course keep you updated.

So what can you do?

  • Foster good landlord-tenant relationships. We would encourage all landlords to keep lines of communication open with your tenants, especially during these unprecedented times.
  • Work out what you want to happen ahead of time. This is for both tenant and landlords – can you agree upon a payment plan? Or is eviction the bottom line? Perhaps enlisting a mediator would be helpful to open the channels of communication and come to an agreement. Mediation has been proved to be very effective and here at AWH we can help both parties so please get in touch today.
  • Contact your local council for help. For tenants who have lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic and are facing eviction, find your local council who will be best placed to advise on what financial support is available to you.

Here at AWH we appreciate that even at the best of times the landlord-tenant relationship can be challenging. Our comprehensive Property Management service offers advice for both parties, rent collection and maintenance programming – all areas that have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Why not take the stress out of managing your property and speak to us today on 0800 071 5517 or email elizabeth.adams@awh.co.uk to book an appointment today.