Your rights as a renter during the COVID-19 crisis
This article was last updated at 10.30am on 8 June 2020.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused a lot of uncertainty for many of us. If you’re a renter, you might be feeling particularly vulnerable – what happens if you can’t pay your rent due to a sudden loss of income?
In March the government introduced emergency legislation to ensure that you can’t be evicted during the pandemic – as of 5 June this eviction ban has been extended to 23 August. As well as this, no repossession proceedings will be permitted during this period of national emergency.
Buy to Let landlords who are struggling during this period may be able to apply for a three month mortgage “holiday”. This could ease the pressure on them or be passed on to tenants who may be out of work and having financial difficulty.
If you’re a tenant having difficulty with rent payments, have a chat with your landlord as soon as possible to explain the situation – don't just stop paying your rent. You can refer them to this gov.uk advice, which details exactly what relief is being offered to protect both renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.
The government have revised their advice on moving house from 13 May 2020 – this means you can now move home if you wish to do so, but the process will need to be adapted to remain safe, limit face to face contact between different households, and ensure the risk of COVID-19 spreading is reduced as much as possible.
All parties involved should be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves if someone becomes ill during the process, or has to self isolate. The government are also recommending that initial viewings take place virtually for now. If you have to have any face-to-face contact with anyone outside your household during the moving process, you must maintain a 2 metre distance where possible and wash your hands frequently.
- If your move is essential, read the latest government guidance on moving during the coronavirus outbreak
- If you can delay your move, read our tips for how to keep your house hunt going during this time
Video can be a great way of conducting virtual viewings or chatting to potential flatmates. You can also upload a video to your ad.
Although we endeavour to keep our coronavirus (COVID-19) content as accurate and as up to date as possible, the situation is rapidly changing, so please ensure you refer to gov.uk for the latest advice and information.