Coronavirus: sell or let your property safely with Open House Leicester and learn about how we're carrying out viewings and valuations. FIND OUT MORE
Fed up not being able to find the right information for your current rental situation? Our team at Open House Leicester has put together a list of answers to your COVID-19 lockdown questions about renting in Leicester. We have also provided everything you need to know and where else to look for accurate and up to date information. More importantly, we’ve made it specific to the current situation here in Leicester because we understand your concerns.
In recent weeks, we’ve had enquiries from our customers seeking relevant and honest information about how the Coronavirus lockdown affects their current rental scenario. In response, we’ve rounded these up to share with you just in case there’s something you haven’t thought of or your circumstances have changed.
We’ve listed a few commonly asked questions and answers when it comes to rental agreements, payments, landlords and sources of information.
I’m in a rental property and my tenancy agreement is coming to an end during the lockdown. What should I do?
Ask your landlord or your estate agents whether a month-by-month agreement or a short-term let, such as a 3-month agreement, is possible if you don’t want to commit to a new long-term tenancy agreement on your home.
As you’re already a resident in that property, the landlord should trust you and it’s in their interest to keep the property occupied too. This is especially if the landlord is aware that no one else will be looking to move during the Coronavirus lockdown period.
I need to move house soon. Will this be possible?
Renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new home while emergency measures are in place to fight the spread of Coronavirus.
If you do need to move, adhere to the general rules of Coronavirus’ guidelines, such as enforcing social distancing and only going out for essential grocery shopping and medication, working and exercise.
What should I do if I’m struggling to pay my rent?
Unfortunately, there are no exclusions here as you’ve signed a legally binding contract. Therefore, tenants are still required to pay their rent as normal. However, support has been made available through the Government’s Emergency Coronavirus Bill, which was announced in March.
Approximately, £1billion has been made available to support renters by increasing the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit. This means that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in your area.
What’s more, Statutory Sick Pay has also been made more accessible with claimants able to receive sick pay from day one of being off work due to Coronavirus symptoms or if you are isolating due to a family member having symptoms. These extra sources of funding or support can help contribute to your rent.
If you are still struggling despite these efforts or for any reason you are unable to access these sources of funding, it’s advised that you speak to your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible. After all, we’re in this together so hopefully, something can be sorted.
My landlord wants the property back. What are my options?
Of course, it is their right to have their property back but there are two significant changes that have been implemented by the Government in relation to evictions.
The first applies to any eviction notices that were put forward to the tenant prior to 26th March. These have now been extended for a further 90 days so this buys you a bit more time.
The second applies to any landlords who attempt to evict tenants after the 26th March. These cannot be processed for three months (with courts) with an increase on the standard two months.
Where shall I look online for trustworthy information?
We urge you only to follow guidelines released by the Government, which clearly state the rules and regulations around renting during lockdown. As your letting agent, we also refer to this and break down some of the information to give you exactly what you need to know.
For more information, visit the dedicated Government’s COVID-19 renters guidelines.
There is no doubt a lot of people who are feeling anxious about the current Coronavirus situation and confused with regards to what it means for their rental agreements. The team at Open House Leicester hope that we have answered your questions about renting in Leicester during Coronavirus.