Rental Update


A third lockdown certainly wasn't how we had hoped to start the year, but with more and more people being vaccinated every day, an end to this pandemic finally looks to be in sight. Fortunately, the housing market remains operational during lockdown, which means that people can still move home and continue to view properties, while continuing to follow appropriate Covid-19 safety guidelines, which we have implemented as a Covid-secure business. If you have any questions about the impact of lockdown on your rental properties - or anything else - don't hesitate to get in touch.

The TLC Yorkshire Property team

Evictions ban extended until 21 February 2021 at the earliest

The government announced an extension to the evictions ban at the beginning of January, meaning that evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs until 21 February 2021 at the earliest, aside from in the most "egregious cases". The "court rules and procedures introduced in September to support both tenants and landlords will remain in place and regularly reviewed" and a new mediation process will also be piloted in February.

This is a continuation of the government's measures to protect tenants during lockdown, alongside the previously announced six-month notice periods, currently in place until at least 31 March 2021. At the same time, the government also announced that "serious rent arrears greater than 6 months’ rent" would be exempt from the evictions ban - regardless of when the arrears started to accrue.

We're keeping an open line of communication with your tenants' to ensure we're staying up to date on their financial situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch.

What the new "breathing space" law will mean for landlords and agents

On 4 May, the Debt Respite Scheme, or "Breathing Space" law, will come into effect, to "give someone in problem debt the right to legal protections from their creditors" - including tenants. The law will cover two types of breathing space, according to the government guidance: a "standard" breathing space and a "mental health crisis" breathing space.

  • The "standard" version will give tenants in problem debt "legal protection from creditor action for up to 60 days", with most enforcement action and contact from creditors paused and most interest and charges frozen.
  • The "mental health crisis" breathing space will include the same protection but over a longer period of time. For tenants in mental health crisis treatment, the breathing space will cover the whole treatment length and an additional 30 days from when the treatment ends.

The guidance also notes that the breathing space is "not a payment holiday". Although the breathing space debt can't be enforced during this period and interest can't be charged on it, "a debtor is still legally required to pay their debts and liabilities". This means that any tenants in debt should continue to pay any debts owed to their landlords.

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