Coronavirus and the housing market

By 27th March 2020 Landlords, Tenants

The coronavirus pandemic is now having a much bigger impact on the UK – the government has closed down pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and all non-essential shops, and many people are bracing themselves for uncertain times ahead. But what does this mean for the rental market? Whether you’re a tenant, a landlord or someone looking to move house, here is a rundown of the latest news and government advice related to housing.

For tenants

As a result of the pandemic, many people have lost their jobs or are now in a more precarious financial position. For those who are renting, there are concerns about being able to pay the rent. If you are in this position, the government has introduced the following protection measures for renters:

  • Landlords will now have to give their tenants 3 months’ notice if they want to end the tenancy.
  • New evictions are suspended indefinitely, so nobody can be forced out of their home during this time.
  • Universal Credit and Housing Benefit are due to increase from April.

The main piece of advice for those struggling to pay rent is to talk to your landlord or your letting agent. Hopefully, with their cooperation, you will be able to come to an agreement that will get you through this difficult time.

For landlords

Many landlords are also facing uncertainty, both about their own income and their tenants’ income. If you’re in this position, here are the latest updates relating to landlords:

  • Those with Buy to Let mortgages can apply for a 3-month mortgage holiday (the missed payments will be added to the mortgage).
  • Landlords are still required to meet the minimum health and safety standards for their rental properties, so any vital repairs should still go ahead.
  • The rental market has slowed down dramatically, so landlords with empty properties may find it difficult to find new tenants under current restrictions.

Landlords are being advised to work closely with their tenants to establish a repayment plan if the tenant is unable to pay their rent due to illness or loss of income.

For buyers and renters

You may have been in the process of buying or renting a property before the lockdown measures were introduced. The government has advised that “there is no need to pull out of transactions”, but they have urged people not to move house during the outbreak, in order to slow the spread of the disease. This fits with current guidelines to stay indoors as much as possible and only go outside to buy essential groceries or for exercise once a day.

If you are a landlord with a property to rent and you would like to talk about your options with us, please contact Gough Quarters today.


Image source: Tom Thain on Unsplash

Information is correct at time of writing. Please check news sources for updates.

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