Coronavirus (Covid-19) information for letting agents

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

    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.

    16 October 2020

    ARLA Propertymark legal expert says landlords can serve Section 8 notice twice, if needed

    Robert Bolwell, Senior Partner at Dutton Gregory, which manages the ARLA Propertymark Legal Helpline, said letting agents and landlords should consider serving a second Section 8 notice if rental arrears accrue to more than six months of missed payments.

    24 September 2020

    Your guide to the latest support for businesses announced in the Winter Economy Plan

    New measures to support workers and businesses impacted by Covid-19 over winter include the Job Support Scheme, extensions to loan and grant schemes, and tax payment deferrals.

    21 September 2020

    Q&A: Landlord Action's Paul Shamplina answers questions on the pre-action protocol

    Landlord Action's Paul Shamplina joined Goodlord's Oli Sherlock in a webinar, Everything you need to know about the pre-action protocol, to discuss the latest developments in eviction proceedings, including the serving of notices, reactivation notices, and the wider effects of the changes over the past six months. 

    26 August 2020

    Agents on the impact of the pandemic on the student lettings market

    The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the student lettings market, disrupting its usually reliable seasonal peaks and troughs for agents throughout the country.

    17 August 2020

    Covid-19 and the human side of digital lettings

    Peter Lightfoot, Director of Elevation Lettings, winners of the Best Small Lettings Agent in the UK 2020, writes about the positive developments that his business has seen come out of a difficult period.

    14 August 2020

    How travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods could impact your agency

    Agencies need to be aware of restrictions around travel and mandatory quarantine periods to keep their staff and their customers safe from Covid-19.

    12 August 2020

    Local lockdowns: Insights from agents on the ground

    Local lockdowns are the government’s preferred alternative to another nationwide lockdown, but what does this mean for estate and letting agencies? Here’s advice from agents on the ground on how to prepare for a local lockdown.

    20 July 2020

    UPDATED: How the changes to the possession action process impact new and existing claims

    All claimants are now required to provide the courts with information about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their tenants as part of the temporary changes to the possession action process.

    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

    ARLA Propertymark legal expert says landlords can serve Section 8 notice twice, if needed

    Posted by The Goodlord team on 16 October 2020

    A legal expert for ARLA Propertymark has said letting agents and landlords should consider serving a second Section 8 notice if rental arrears accrue to more than six months of missed payments, even if their original Section 8 has yet to come into force. This is because of a crucial change at the six months of arrears mark, when the notice period for tenants drops from six months to just four weeks.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Your guide to the latest support for businesses announced in the Winter Economy Plan

    Posted by Andrea Warmington on 24 September 2020

    This article was published on 24 September 2020. Although we endeavour to keep our Covid-19 content 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.

    A six-month Job Support Scheme will be introduced on 1 November to help protect jobs in businesses facing lower demand over winter and provide support after the furlough scheme ends. The new scheme is one of several measures announced by the Chancellor as part of the Winter Economy Plan to support workers and businesses, which includes extending the grant scheme for self-employed workers, tax payment deferrals, extending applications and introducing flexible repayments for the coronavirus loan schemes.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Q&A: Landlord Action's Paul Shamplina answers questions on the pre-action protocol

    Posted by Oli Sherlock on 21 September 2020

    Landlord Action's Paul Shamplina joined Goodlord's Oli Sherlock in a webinar, Everything you need to know about the pre-action protocol, to discuss the latest developments in eviction proceedings, including the serving of notices, reactivation notices, and the wider effects of the changes over the past six months. 

    Read More

    Topics: Covid-19

    Agents on the impact of the pandemic on the student lettings market

    Posted by Suzy Lycett on 26 August 2020

    Demand in the student lettings market reflects the ebb and flow of university semesters but is historically strong, and tends to encourage longer 12-month lets. The pandemic and the subsequent closure of universities disrupted this traditional sequence of events, and continues to cause uncertainty as the new term approaches. “Universities are still being very vague,” says Neil Bharakhda, Regional Manager at Leicester-based property management company, Set To Let. “We get the impression that they’re also sceptical about filling course spaces - potentially they may find not enough students to carry out a course for the entire year.”

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Covid-19 and the human side of digital lettings

    Posted by Peter Lightfoot on 17 August 2020

    There’s no getting away from the fact that we’ve just been through a few of the strangest and most challenging months of our lives. And it’s not like things are exactly back to normal now. However, we have seen some  positive developments emerge from the  pandemic at Elevation Lettings and within the industry at large.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    How travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods could impact your agency

    Posted by Andrea Warmington on 14 August 2020

    Continued vigilance in the face of fast-changing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods will be necessary from agencies in the coming months in order to protect their staff and customers alike and help to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 in the UK.

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    Topics: Covid-19

    Local lockdowns: Insights from agents on the ground

    Posted by Suzy Lycett on 12 August 2020

    The national lockdown, triggered by Boris Johnson’s announcement on 23 March, was a disruption of varying degrees to businesses up and down the country. Some were more prepared than others in the build-up but, regardless of preparedness, many had to completely change their day-to-day, with a remote-first approach becoming the norm. So what can you expect from a localised lockdown?

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    Topics: Covid-19

    UPDATED: How the changes to the possession action process impact new and existing claims

    Posted by Andrea Warmington on 20 July 2020

    This article was published on 24 September 2020. Although we endeavour to keep our coronavirus (COVID-19) content 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.

    The Government has issued guidance on the temporary changes to possession proceedings, which will remain in place in England and Wales until at least 28 March 2021. The temporary amendment makes several changes to the usual process for possession proceedings, including requiring claimants who wish to resume proceedings to “inform the court and defendant in writing of this after the expiry of the stay in a 'reactivation notice'”. The government warns that many cases have built up during the six-month suspension period and courts are still not operating at their full capacity, which means in most cases it will take longer than eight weeks for claims to be heard. A "winter truce" on evictions also means that no evictions will take place between 11 December 2020 and 11 January 2021.

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    Topics: Covid-19

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