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Protection for renters and landlords

RENTERS are being urged to have an ‘honest and frank conversation’ with their landlord as new measures are announced amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government’s newly introduced rules will ensure no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home. There are also measures in place to protect landlords, too.

TDS, a Government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme, wants to ensure tenants and landlords can work together to ensure both sides can find a mutually beneficial agreement.

Steve Harriott, Chief Executive of TDS, said: “Under the new guidelines tenants are still liable for their rent, however, if they are facing financial hardship there is support out there.

“It’s really important during this unprecedented situation that the lines of communication between renter and landlord are kept open. Now is the time to be having an honest and frank conversation about rents and financial concerns, working together to put a rent payment scheme in place.

“Support has also been announced for landlords as the Government has asked lenders to provide a three-month mortgage payment holiday for those who have a buy-to-let mortgage.”

TDS has also issued a guide to help renters and landlords who may be moving in or out of a property during the period of social distancing.

In a bid to adhere to the current social distancing requirements, the organisation is recommending tenants carry out their own inventory, sending it onto their landlord after they move in, and if vacating the property, renters are being asked to carry out a virtual walk round with their landlord via video call, as a way to document the state of it with the landlord.

Measures to prevent eviction during the pandemic have also been announced by the Government, which now means landlords must give renters three months’ notice if they intend to seek possession of the property.

However, this does not waive the tenants’ obligation to pay rent during the three-month period, so if not paid it will remain due and may be recovered by the landlord. In addition, all ongoing housing possession action has been temporarily suspended.

Steve added: “We’re committed to maintaining a positive partnership between tenants and their landlords. The economic upheaval created by COVID-19 has put many people and businesses into a very uncertain position, but we urge parties to communicate proactively to find solutions. If landlords are willing to accommodate changes to rent payments, we highly recommend formally documenting all the agreements in the interests of clarity for all parties.”

TDS is the only not-for-profit tenancy deposit scheme in the UK, which means it continuously invests surpluses into raising industry standards with excellent service levels, quicker call response times, user-friendly technology and faster tenancy dispute resolutions.

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