New measures announced amid the COVID-19 pandemic should trigger open discussions
between renters and landlords, says the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
The government-approved group suggests that all parties should be working together to
ensure a mutually beneficial outcome when it comes to paying rent, reminding both tenants and landlords that help is at hand.
Steve Harriott, chief executive of TDS, said: “Under the new guidelines tenants are still liable for their rent, however, if they are facing financial hardship there is support out there.
“It’s really important during this unprecedented situation that the lines of communication
between renter and landlord are kept open.
“Now is the time to be having an honest and frank conversation about rents and financial
concerns, working together to put a rent payment scheme in place.
“Support has also been announced for landlords too as the government has asked lenders
to provide a three-month mortgage payment holiday for those who have a buy-to-let
Landlords and renters who may be in the process of moving in or out of a property whilst still being asked to comply with social distancing measures also have access to a guide issued by TDS.
The organisation suggests that all inventory should be carried out by tenants and sent to
their landlord once they have moved in. It also recommends that renters vacating a property should set up a video call with their landlord and carry out a virtual walk around to provide evidence that the property has been left in a satisfactory condition.
Landlords must now give three months’ notice if they want to evict their tenant under the new measures designed to provide additional security for renters.
However, tenants must still continue to fulfill their financial obligations during the three-month period. Any arrears will remain owed and the landlord retains the right to recover them. Harriott added: “We’re committed to maintaining a positive partnership between tenants and their landlords.
“The economic upheaval created by COVID-19 has put many people and businesses into a
very uncertain position, but we urge parties to communicate proactively to find solutions.
“If landlords are willing to accommodate changes to rent payments, we highly recommend
formally documenting all the agreements in the interests of clarity for all parties.”