Tenants and landlords
2. Information for landlords
During the coronavirus pandemic, you should keep in touch with tenants over the phone or by email. You can only enter the property to carry out essential work or repairs that may affect the health and safety of your tenant such as dealing with:
- water supply
- electricity supply
- gas supply
- annual gas safety checks
- fire safety
- drainage problems
- pest control
- heating failure
- work to windows and doors that may affect security
Anyone entering the property, including agents and contractors are expected to follow the social distancing advice, set out by the government. If you’re using a contractor to carry out work or repairs in the property, you should ask to see a risk assessment. This should give information about how the contractor will protect their employees and residents and help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
To reduce social contact, you should not carry out:
- non-essential work and repairs
- routine tenancy inspections
We're continuing to provide a complaint response service to tenants during this time to ensure all tenants have a safe place to live. You can visit GOV.UK for information and guidance for landlords and tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tenants who are self-isolating
If your tenant is self-isolating, you should keep in contact with them by phone or email. If you’re not able to access the property or employ a contractor because of the restrictions that have been put in place due to coronavirus, you should keep a record of your attempts and any communication that you’ve had with the tenant.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s)
You should continue to apply for your HMO licence and HMO renewal licence in the normal way. It’s a criminal offence not to and could lead to an unlimited fine or a civil penalty notice of up to £30,000. To apply for a licence and find out more about HMO licensing, the supporting documents and the required fee, you can visit our HMO webpage. We’ll look at each licence on a case by case basis. Please keep a record of any communication with your tenant and contractors so that we can assess the situation fully.
We know that you will not be able to enter your property to get certificates at the moment. If certificates have expired, please provide the most recent copy that you have. If you do not have a copy, please provide a written declaration explaining the reasons why.
Inspections will not take place until further notice. Instead, we’ll issue HMO licences based on the information provided in the application. If needed, we’ll contact you for further information by phone or email and we may also contact your tenant.
We'll carry out compliance inspections as soon as we can. Any works or conditions required on the licence must be completed. If the information provided on the application is found to be different upon inspection, the licence may have to be varied. You can find more information, including an application checklist on our HMOs webpage.
The government has brought in emergency legislation which means that from 26 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, you must give your tenants 3 months’ notice before evicting them. You can choose to give more than 3 months’ notice if you wish. On the 27 March 2020, the court suspended all eviction proceedings for 90 days. This has now been further extended until after 20 September 2020. This means that if you served notice before 26 March 2020, you will not be able to gain possession during that period.
If your tenant is struggling to pay rent because of coronavirus, you should work with them to reach an agreement. We're providing support to tenants to make sure that they are not evicted or harassed during this time and we'll take legal action if needed.
Illegal evictions remain a criminal offence. In most cases, the process of serving notice, applying to court for possession and applying for a warrant must still be followed.
The government has also extended the three month mortgage payment holiday to ‘buy to let’ mortgages. You can find more information on the GOV.UK website.