Government Urged To Offer Landlords Coronavirus Guidance

AFS Team·12 March 2020·4 min read
Government Urged To Offer Landlords Coronavirus Guidance

Government Urged To Offer Landlords Coronavirus Guidance

With the number of Coronavirus patients in the UK increasing, one organisation is urging the government to offer landlords guidance on what they should do.

The call comes from Arla Propertymark who say that advice on how landlords should deal with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation and whether they will ‘step in’ should a local authority decide to prosecute a landlord when the landlord is powerless to act.

The organisation's chief executive, David Cox, said: "If a tenant caught the virus and was to be in self-isolation for a period, what happens should something go wrong with the property? For example, if the boiler stops working?

"The landlord, contractor or letting agent will not go into the home to avoid contracting the virus but this means there's a tenant without heating or hot water for two weeks.

Put the landlord in breach of Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act

"This will then put the agent or landlord in breach of Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which has a duty to maintain a property effectively."

Mr Cox also raised issues over the impact the Coronavirus have will have on landlords and agents as they prepare getting homes ready for July's implementation of the new electric regulations.

He says the Government should consider relaxing the deadline to give the supply chain and industry longer to meet compliance.

With concerns growing over how widespread the Coronavirus might be, one anti-poverty campaigner is already urging the government and landlords to offer tenants three months of free rent.

The political activist Richard Murphy says it will not be acceptable for individuals to bear the financial brunt of catching the virus.

He says there should be a statutory right for a tenant to receive a three-month rent-free period as a minimum to ease the financial stress they may endure.

Growing concerns from landlords

And in a bid to meet growing concerns from landlords, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has also published advice on helping those members who are worried.

They say that landlords and tenants should follow advice on hygiene and should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, wipe down surfaces and avoid touching their face.

Landlords can also email a link to NHS advice – there is more below - or print off the advice and dropping it off at their property.