[UPDATED 13/05] FAQs: What impact does the Coronavirus have on landlords and tenants?
Thank you all – our doors are open again!
Through the efforts of you – our courageous keyworkers and community – we can safely welcome you back!
The government has announced today (Wednesday 13th May) that Estate Agents can open; viewings are permitted; show homes can open; removal companies and the other essential parts of the sales and letting process are re-started with immediate effect.
Full details can be found here.
Our plan is to enable people to move home safely, in line with the social distancing advice – health and safety is paramount!
Following government guidelines, we are once again able to organise expert valuations and personal viewings, as well as offering these services virtually.
If you wish to discuss any property questions with us or find out more about moving safely, please call us.
We understand these are exceptional times and circumstances, so we want to provide you with reassurance and guidance on how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting our landlords and Lettings service.
This handy guide has been put together by our Lettings team and is based on the most popular questions we are currently asked. The first part of this blog answers landlords frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the latter section answers those from tenants.
Q. What are the changes to letting laws during this period?
A. At this moment there have been no fundamental changes to the letting laws. Viewings in person can now be organised where safety can be guaranteed in accordance with social distancing guidance. We are still offering virtual viewings and appraisals via WhatsApp, Facebook, and Skype, so please contact us to discuss your options.
Q. What will happen if tenants are in financial difficulty and are worried about paying their rent?
A. Any tenants who find themselves in this situation should contact us straight away. We can discuss and advise on a range of options available to avoid rent arrears where possible.
Q. What would happen if we cannot conduct the safety check or inspections?
A. We are waiting on the specific advice from the Government, particularly regarding gas safety checks, but the early signals are that these will not be expected to take place for 3 months. We will update you when we receive new information.
Q. What services will Michael Jones be prioritising if the impact of the pandemic is such that we do not have the capacity to deliver all services?
A. We are structured in a way that should allow us to deliver most services to our clients. Our rent collection and property management service are still operational, all properties are still being marketed and applicants registered. Non-essential property management work has still stopped for now, but viewings and appraisals can be conducted in person, where it is safe and in line with social distancing guidance.
Q. What happens if I can’t pay the mortgage as a landlord?
A. If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to speak to your lender to see if there is a form of mortgage payment holiday or break available to you. It is essential that you talk to them as soon as possible.
Q. My tenancy is up for renewal this month – what shall I do?
A. One of our Lettings team will still be in contact with you to discuss your options. As long as you haven’t served notice or been given notice, then you will be able to stay on a periodic (rolling) tenancy if needs be. We recommend speaking to us so we can discuss all the available options.
Q. Are viewings still going ahead?
A. Viewings in person can now be organised where safety can be guaranteed in accordance with social distancing guidance. We are still offering virtual viewings and appraisals via WhatsApp, Facebook, and Skype, so please contact us to discuss your options.
We are encouraging people to view our properties online or to contact us and request further details. Our team are working at a limited, safe capacity in our offices, and remotely, so are still available to answer any questions and offer advice. We are constantly monitoring government guidelines and will update you accordingly.
Q. I am meant to be moving into a new property soon, what will happen now?
A. Under recent changes to government advice, you can now do so. We are still working hard and helping those people who wish to move into their new home, via safe, in-person meetings and virtually. If you plan to use a removal company to help with your move, they have are now able to operate too. We still recommend checking to see which companies are open and their availability, since it may take time to return to full capacity.
Q. What will happen to self-isolating tenants?
A. We will fully respect those tenants who are self-isolating. Rent is still payable, but if you are out of work, please do contact us and we can talk through your options.
We are still open for business
We’re still here to help you with any property needs and/or questions you have; and now, we can organise safe meetings in person alongside our virtual viewings, and talk over the phone. If you’d like to speak with one of our friendly Lettings team, please call us on 01903 213 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay alert and stay safe.
Content accurate at time of publishing.