The financial support available is restricted to assisting you with cashflow issues rather than grant or cash payments.
If you have a Buy to let mortgage your lender should sanction a three month mortgage payment holiday if this is needed because of Coronavirus hardship. Please note that this is merely a deferral of the payment due, the sum owed remains payable and interest will continue to accrue.
If you are due to pay a self-assessment tax payment on account in July2020 this can be deferred until January 2021 without interest implications
It is important to remember that you should still expect to receive your rent from your tenant. If they are unable to pay this, you will need to agree a sum and payment term that you are both able to accept. When negotiating this it is important that you are mindful of their personal situation and ensure that they are aware of the financial support available to them.
- If they are self-employed they may be able to make a claim for a taxable grant worth 80% of profits (based on the average of 3 years profits) up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Initially, this will be available for three months in one lump-sum payment and will start to be paid from the beginning of June.
- If they are employed but furloughed they should receive 80% of salary up to a maximum of £2,500.
By sharing this information this supports your tenant in obtaining access to the financial help they are entitled to and puts you in a better position of receiving your rent.
We would also recommend that if revised payment terms are put in place these are confirmed in writing and the tenant signs to accept these. The documentation should make it clear that revised terms are a one off concession and do not in any way constitute a variation of the lease and/or the amount of the rents due. Hopefully the tenants are able to stick to the revised plan agreed , however, should you need to pursue payments at a later date via the courts, this document will be useful as evidence on the terms agreed.
Landlord are still required to ensure that the necessary repairs required to a property are undertaken. However, clearly, it is important that both the tenants and landlords take a pragmatic approach on the timescales and urgency of the repair.
Gas/Elec Safety Checks:
Landlords have a legal duty to adhere to gas safety and electrical safety regulations. Current guidance suggests that necessary work can still be undertaken within people’s homes provided that social distancing measures are followed.
It is recognised that during the Coronavirus outbreak there is a balance between undertaking these duties and protecting vulnerable people from COVID-19. In instances where access cannot be obtained to the property you will be expected to demonstrate that you take all necessary steps to adhere to the law. This will include copy communications or telephone conversation notes with your tenant and details of any attempts by the engineer to obtain access to the property.
The rules have tightened against landlords trying to evict their tenants for failure to pay rent. These include extending the notice to quit from tenancy from 4 weeks to 3 months. Obviously this is a complex constantly evolving legal situation and we would suggest that you take legal advice before undertaking any action in this respect.
Below is the link to the Government website which provides detailed guidance:
A member of the Wells Team will also be pleased to help you – feel free to give us a call on 01892 507280.