I’m struggling to pay my rent. Can my landlord evict me?
The Government introduced emergency legislation in March to prevent landlords from evicting tenants affected by Covid-19 for an initial period of three months.
This means that if you’re struggling to pay your rent as a result of Covid-19, your landlord can’t bring a court action against you. This ban has now been extended for a further 2 months, until 23 August in England and Wales.
Tenants will still need to pay their rent. If you are struggling to pay your rent, speak to your landlord and make them aware of the difficulties you are facing. Your landlord may agree to give you more time to pay your rent, or a rent reduction. Any agreement with your landlord should be put in writing.
If a tenant falls into rent arrears tenants and landlords can agree a Rent repayment plan, based on the tenants’ individual circumstances.
Will the government help me pay my rent?
If you are claiming benefits and in rented accommodation, the government has announced a financial support package to be delivered through the current benefits system (ie housing benefit and Universal Credit).
What can I do if I'm struggling with mortgage repayments?
The Government introduced a three-month mortgage holiday in March for anyone struggling with their mortgage repayments as a result of Covid-19. All mortgage lenders should honour this three-month mortgage holiday and make it available to eligible property owners.
If your mortgage holiday is coming to an end in June, you’ll be contacted by your lender to discuss repayment plans. The Government encourages anyone that can afford to restart payments to do so. However, the mortgage holiday can be extended for a further three months to assist individuals that are still struggling.
The application for a mortgage holiday has also been extended until 31 October.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your mortgage repayments because of Covid-19, you speak to your mortgage lender about a mortgage holiday.
For more information, read Mortgage arrears.
My tenants are unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19, what can I do?
The Coronavirus Act requires you to give the tenants a minimum of 3 months’ eviction notice, so it is not possible to evict tenants before this time. You could consider a temporary rent reduction or making a Rent repayment plan if your tenants are temporarily unable to pay the rent.
I am a lodger, what rules apply to me?
Lodgers are not covered by the same rules as tenants are (for further information, read Taking in a lodger). This means you may be at risk of being evicted during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Is there a Stamp Duty holiday?
The Government has announced a temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday to stimulate the property market, effective from 8 July 2020.
This will exempt the first £500,000 of all property sales from SDLT.
That means that any property purchases below the new level of £500,000 will not attract SDLT as long as the deal is completed before 31 March 2021.
Individuals buying second homes and/or buy-to-let properties will also benefit, but will still have to pay the 3% extra duty due on the entire price.
Anyone completing a property purchase before 8 July 2020 will have to pay the full normal SDLT.
What is the Green Homes Grant Scheme?
The Green Homes Grant Scheme enables homeowners and landlords in England to apply for vouchers of up to £10,000 to pay for green improvements that could save some households hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills.
From September, homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for vouchers to make their homes more energy efficient.
The Green Homes Grant Scheme will cover at least two thirds of the cost of such improvements, up to £5,000 per household. Low income households can apply for vouchers covering the full cost of such improvements, up to £10,000.
Homeowners will be able to use the grant money on improvements such as lofts, wall and floor insulation, low-energy lighting, heat pumps, double or triple-glazed windows, energy-efficient doors and eco-friendly boilers.
Individuals will be able to access the website from September with various options for making their home more energy efficient. The website will also provide a list of accredited suppliers.