Coronavirus (Covid-19) information for letting agents and estate agents during lockdown

    Helping the lettings industry stay compliant with changing legislation and advice during the continually-evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

    13 January 2021

    Rent arrears of greater than six months exempt from evictions ban - including rent accrued since March 2020

    The guidance for landlords and tenants during Covid-19 has been updated to make serious rent arrears "greater than 6 months' rent" exempt from the extended evictions ban in England - removing the stipulation that rent accrued since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 could be discounted.

    8 January 2021

    UPDATED: Government extends evictions ban until at least February 2021

    The government has announced that evictions will now not be enforced by bailiffs until at least 21 February 2021, while courts will remain open with court procedures "regularly reviewed", and a new "mediation pilot" will come into play.

    5 January 2021

    Update: Your guide to what the Tier 4 and third lockdown restrictions mean for letting agents and house moves

    As under Tier 4 restrictions, the lettings industry can continue to operate during the third national lockdown in England. Letting agencies can "continue to work" and people are permitted to move home.

    4 January 2021

    Post-holiday lettings update: Tenant safety as priority

    Covid-19 guidelines for letting agents and landlords, updated with the introduction of a fourth tier and still applicable during the third national lockdown, continue to prioritise tenant safety while reminding agents of tenant protections in place.

    23 November 2020

    Tougher rules for businesses not following COVID-secure guidance when English lockdown ends

    Local authorities will have greater powers to enforce compliance on businesses operating in an unsafe way, including financial penalties, when England returns to tiered restrictions on 2 December 2020.

    16 November 2020

    Landlord Action's Legal Director answers letting agents' questions on the new possession process

    "It's more important now than ever to make sure you get professional advice about the serving of a notice," says Tim Frome, discussing the most recent changes to the possession process as a result of Covid-19.

    5 November 2020

    UPDATED: Furlough scheme extended until the end of April 2021

    The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021, as restrictions increase throughout the UK.

    4 November 2020

    Letting agencies can operate, viewings and house moves can take place during lockdown

    Activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property have been made exceptions to the "stay at home" guidance under lockdown legislation.

    26 October 2020

    Evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs in areas with Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions

    The justice secretary wrote to bailiffs’ trade associations requesting that they do not carry out evictions in areas under Tier 2 and Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions.

    19 October 2020

    ARLA Propertymark Q&A: Managing Covid-19's continued impact on the possession process

    A legal expert for ARLA Propertymark answers letting agents' questions on kickstarting the possession process for stayed cases, how long it could take for cases to be heard, accelerated procedures, notice periods for arrears, and more.

    Rent arrears of greater than six months exempt from evictions ban - including rent accrued since March 2020

    Posted by The Goodlord team on 13 January 2021

    The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing and this article will continue to be updated throughout. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

    Agents should be aware of an update to the guidance for landlords and tenants during Covid-19, which now states that "serious rent arrears greater than 6 months’ rent" will be exempt from the evictions ban - regardless of when the arrears started to accrue.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    UPDATED: Government extends evictions ban until at least February 2021

    Posted by The Goodlord team on 08 January 2021

    The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing and this article will continue to be updated throughout. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

    The evictions ban in England has been extended for a further six weeks, 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. 

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Update: Your guide to what the Tier 4 and third lockdown restrictions mean for letting agents and house moves

    Posted by The Goodlord team on 05 January 2021

    The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

    The government has confirmed that people can still move home and continue to view properties during the third national lockdown in England, as under Tier 4 restrictions, while continuing to follow appropriate Covid-19 safety guidelines. The lockdown will come into law on 6 January 2020 and is expected to be in place until at least February half term.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Post-holiday lettings update: Tenant safety as priority

    Posted by Suzy Lycett on 04 January 2021

    The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

    The 2020 holiday period was disrupted by the introduction of Tier 4 Covid-19 measures across much of England, and now 2021 starts with a new national lockdown. The government has confirmed that the lettings industry can continue to operate under these restrictions, and its guidance for home moving emphasises that the safety of tenants should remain the "first priority" for agents and landlords.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Tougher rules for businesses not following COVID-secure guidance when English lockdown ends

    Posted by Andrea Warmington on 23 November 2020

    The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing and this article will continue to be updated throughout. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

    The Government has announced that England will be moving back into a system of tiered restrictions as part of its “Covid-19 Winter Plan” for when the second national lockdown ends on 2 December. Although the restrictions will be “tougher” than they were in October, it currently appears that the lettings industry will be able to continue operating as it has during the lockdown, with “moving home” listed as being exempt from the restrictions on gatherings at every tier. Courts will also remain open at every tier.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Landlord Action's Legal Director answers letting agents' questions on the new possession process

    Posted by The Goodlord team on 16 November 2020

    Landlord Action's Legal Director, Tim Frome, talks to Goodlord's Oli Sherlock about how possession cases are faring since the reopening of the courts, with insights from on the ground for letting agents and landlords who are going through the new process.

    🎧 Listen to the whole conversation
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    Topics: Covid-19

    UPDATED: Furlough scheme extended until the end of April 2021

    Posted by Andrea Warmington on 05 November 2020

    The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing and this article will continue to be updated throughout. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

    The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021, with furloughed employees to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, in order to support businesses as much of the country is put under Tier 3 restrictions. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also confirmed that he would be extending the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes until the end of March.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Letting agencies can operate, viewings and house moves can take place during lockdown

    Posted by Andrea Warmington on 04 November 2020

    This situation is rapidly changing and this article will continue to be updated throughout. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

    Letting agencies can continue to operate and viewings and house moves can take place during the second national lockdown, which begins on 5 November and will continue until at least 2 December. Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020, activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property have been made exceptions to the "stay at home" guidance.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs in areas with Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions

    Posted by Andrea Warmington on 26 October 2020

    Bailiffs have agreed not to enforce court orders against tenants living in areas where Tier 2 and Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions are in place. Eviction proceedings can still take place in the courts.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    ARLA Propertymark Q&A: Managing Covid-19's continued impact on the possession process

    Posted by The Goodlord team on 19 October 2020

    Robert Bolwell, Senior Partner at Dutton Gregory, which manages the ARLA Propertymark Legal Helpline, answered letting agents questions on Covid-19's impact on the possession process in a Goodlord webinar. Click on a question to jump to the answer or watch the webinar on-demand now.

    1. How would you summarise the key changes for people who haven't yet had to use the courts since they reopened?
    2. If you have a case that's been stayed, how do you kick start that process again?
    3. How long will it take for cases to be looked at if there aren’t significant arrears?
    4. When it does mean you're going to be physically in front of a judge if you are pursuing a possession claim together with a claim for rent arrears?
    5. If there aren’t any arrears, do you need to provide a Covid-19 statement with the paperwork or only when requested?
    6. How much notice does the tenant have to give to the landlord's agents?
    7. Do we have to change the wording on section eight notices around the grounds for rent arrears?
    8. What do I do if I've got rent arrears now of five months? Do I serve a notice now for six months’ expiration date or do I wait till they go over the six month mark?
    9. Can you get ahead of the game by submitting a claim to the courts before the notice is expired?
    10. If a section 21 notice has been issued and the tenant has now fallen into a periodic tenancy, and there has been since then a revised TDS certificate. Does that revised certificate somehow revoke the section 21 that happened beforehand?
    11. How could the Tenant Fees Act impact payment plans?
    12. What do you do if you haven't heard a peep out of your tenant? 
    13. What impact do you think Covid-19 might have on the courts if a tenant starts to argue that actually that process has been affecting the tenant?
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    Topics: Covid-19

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