Measures to protect tenants and landlords affected by COVID-19
Last updated 9.37am Friday 10 July
The Government has announced a package of measures to protect tenants and landlords affected by COVID-19.
Emergency legislation was taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords would not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants until at least 23 August. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.
Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, the Government has confirmed that the 3 month mortgage payment holiday announced on 17 March 2020, now extended for a further 3 months will be offered to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19. This will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.
At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.
To support this announcement the government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.
Tenants should continue to pay rent as normal and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability.
Tenants who are unable to pay their rent can get support with housing costs by applying for Universal Credit.
If you live in social housing, talk to your landlord. They will be able to assess your eligibility and talk you through your options.
Further information on the support available can also be found on our Housing Benefit pages.