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Residential Property: Residential Tenancies

Landlords and Tenants of residential property are both likely to experience difficulties faced with the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force on 25 March 2020 and contains some new legislation aimed to protect tenants and to prevent evictions during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Act provides for a Landlord to now give three months’ notice for recovery of possession of a property on the expiry or termination of a residential tenancy. The Act applies to most residential tenancies including secure tenancies granted by local authorities, assured tenancies and assured shorthold tenancies.

A Landlord seeking to give a Tenant notice should take legal advice. The Act provides for the amendments of the Section 8 and Section 21 forms used for possession to provide for three months’ notice.

The Act does not make a distinction between a Landlord seeking possession for non- payment of rent which may be understandable in this current climate, or any other reason such as breach of a condition relating to use of the property, maintenance or restriction on access.

It appears that any application for possession will be suspended for 90 days and will not be progressed to a stage where a Tenant is evicted.

A Landlord can still seek an urgent injunction for access to a property if denied access to carry out urgent inspections such as gas and electricity safety checks or urgent repairs where access is denied.

A Tenant is not automatically entitled to a rent concession such as a rent-free period or rent reduction however, a Landlord may agree to a rent-free period or reduced rent to assist at this difficult time. Any agreement reached should be put in writing and set out the terms agreed.

A Landlord who has a mortgage on property subject to a residential tenancy should contact the bank or mortgage lender to discuss the terms of the mortgage and may be able to agree a mortgage holiday or extended period to repay the mortgage.

If you have any questions relating to a Residential Tenancy matter please contact in the first instance Sarah Dell

01726 67660


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