When lockdown began, the government released the Coronavirus Act, which gave important details to landlords and tenants. It announced that from the 26th March, UK residential and commercial tenants who missed rent payments would be protected from eviction. With this legislation coming to an end on 30th September, this article will address how rent deferrals have affected the sector.
The unprecedented situation brought about by Covid-19 has put many tenants, and landlords, under immense pressure. In order to ease the pressure for tenants, the government announced that tenants would not be evicted for failing to pay rent in this period. From the 27th march, the decision was made to suspend all ongoing housing possession claims. It meant that any landlords seeking possession will not be able to progress until the notice is expired. The government also asked that regardless of this legislation, landlords should not issue a notice seeking possession, especially as the tenant may be facing sickness or other hardship due to Covid-19.
Coronavirus Act 2020
The Coronavirus Act protects tenants by ensuring that landlords give a notice period of 3 months when issuing notices seeking possession. At the expiry of the 3-month notice, a landlord will need a court order to force a tenant to leave their home. Landlords were encouraged to have conversations with their tenants about the lockdown, to fully assess their circumstances and if they would have difficulty paying rent.
While protecting tenants, this act may have made things difficult for more landlords. With tenants allowed to miss payments without eviction, many landlords have been missing out on the payments that they may need to pay for their mortgages.
How Have They Affected Property Investors?
The rent deferrals have no doubt affected potential property investors. While stamp duty cuts may have incentivised some to purchase buy-to-let properties, the knowledge that they may not be receiving rent has had the opposite effect for some investors.
Have Tenants Taken Advantage Of These Rent Deferrals?
Tenants in both residential and commercial properties have taken advantage of these rent deferrals. For many businesses who were closed during lockdown, the option to defer rent may have prevented them from going into administration. Now that businesses such as salons and restaurants can reopen, landlords will hopefully be able to receive payments once again.
For advice regarding your legal rights on rent deferrals under the Coronavirus Act, contact Bowsers Solicitors today.