Q. My tenants have told me that they will not be paying rent as the government has given all tenants a three-month rent holiday. Surely this can’t be true? How I am supposed to pay MY bills?
A. The coronavirus emergency and the lockdown have made life very difficult for everyone and many tenants are struggling to pay their rent. The chancellor has made a number of financial support packages available, but this does not include changing the law to allow tenants to live rent free for three months.
Tenants are expected to pay as much rent as they can, with the assistance, if required, of the Chancellors financial support packages.
Indeed, paragraph 1.1 of the Governments guidance (available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities) says: “Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability.”
However, landlords are expected to be sympathetic to their tenants’ plight if they are in financial difficulties and arrange a plan to help them. If landlords are paying a mortgage, they should be able to obtain a mortgage holiday.
The Guidance says at paragraph 1.4: “Mortgage lenders have agreed to offer payment holidays of up to three months where this is needed due to Coronavirus-related hardship, including for buy-to-let mortgages. The sum owed remains and mortgages continue to accrue interest during this period.”
Q. My gas safety certificate inspection is due within the next two months and I need to get this done. However, my tenant tells me he is self-isolating. What can I do?