To Our Tenants,
Please read the following regarding how the Corona virus is likely to impact our operations, and you as our tenants. During this very troubling time we are constantly keeping up to date with the changing legislation surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak and its implications on the rental sector.
Our Hull and Leicester offices remain open at this time, however that could change very quickly subject to official guidance or a member of staff becoming infected.
We intend to keep our offices open for as long as we can, we are looking into putting rotas in place or provision for as many staff as possible to work from home if or when that becomes necessary.
Please be assured that our business will aim to do our very best regarding continuing to maintain as normal as possible working pattern.
We continue to have contractors who are willing to go out, but unfortunately it might well be that as the situation develops this will be on an emergency basis only and not for routine or minor repairs. Whilst we sincerely hope that this will not have an effect on you, we do kindly ask for your cooperation whilst we navigate this difficult period.
Similarly following advice from our professional bodies; we will be suspending all ‘routine’ property inspections as of now, possibly for an indefinite period subject to government advice/policy as the situation evolves.
We understand that lots of our tenants will be worrying about families, friends and now possibly how to pay your rent over the next few months. We want to reassure you that we will be working with all our landlords and tenants to ensure we all come through this together.
At the time of writing, it is a tenants’ responsibility to contact their local authority if they are having difficulty in making their rental payments. You need to do this to access any benefits available to you and make yourself aware of any Government schemes that may assist with rental payments over the coming weeks.
If you are self-isolating and you think this may cause you difficulties with paying your rent, you will need to obtain an isolation note from the NHS website, this can be accessed through: https://www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19 you will then be asked some questions, respond to these and you should receive an isolation note from the NHS; we will need a copy of this.
We believe all help will come via the benefit system, so it is important to claim as early as possible if you are experiencing hardship. In addition, if you are not working due to contracting Covid-19, you should be eligible for additional statutory sick pay.
If you have life/illness insurance cover you should contact your insurer and those tenants who are self-employed should contact their insurer accordingly to see if there are any necessary provisions for interruption of work within their policy.
Mortgage and Rental Payment Holidays
It has recently been announced that eligible landlords may be able to apply for a three month mortgage payment holiday. To be clear, a “holiday” simply defers payment into the future, adding additional interest. Most landlords are yet to establish if their lenders are offering payment holidays and are naturally worried about being able to pay their own mortgages as well as their buy to let mortgages should they be similarly affected by the viral outbreak. Other landlords may rely on their rental income as their only source of income to live themselves, therefore communication is absolutely vital to allow us to find a way forward together.
Mortgage payment breaks are only being offered to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulty due to the Covid-19 outbreak and as such, you will need to provide us with the following information to allow your landlord to apply (if they have a buy-to-let mortgage):
- Sign off note from Doctor (obtainable via 111)
- Comparable wage slips showing a decrease in income or SSP payments
- Bank statements for comparison showing the same decrease in income
- Letter from your employer showing reduced hours/layoff
- Letter from your accountant confirming a reduction of income
- Copy of benefits claim
Similarly to a mortgage payment holiday, the rent will be deferred rather than written off. It will still be owed and accrue on your account so anything you can do to minimise the debt will help you in the long term.
Should you wish to apply for a payment holiday (or temporary reduction/deferment of part rent), we ask that you put forward a payment plan for us to take forward to your landlord on your behalf.
It has not been made clear by the government what should happen if a landlord is in financial difficulty and unable to make mortgage payments after this three month period so we can only hope that the situation is resolved by this point or the government rolls out further financial support.
Please do also remember that the non-payment of rent poses other issues from a management point of view, such as a lack of funds to pay maintenance and safety testing contractors, or our own overheads such as salaries to enable the business to continue operating during this time.
The situation we are all faced with is unprecedented. Please be assured that we will work closely with you and your landlord to enable us to overcome and get through this difficult time together.
For further information, the following links might be useful:
If you are in a situation where you need to apply for a payment holiday/deferment, please reply to this email confirming the following:
1) The circumstances relating to the requirement for a payment holiday/deferment
2) The amount of rent you believe you will be able to pay out of your total rent amount
3) A proposed payment plan to repay the arrears once the Covid-19 crisis has passed.
Thank you for your time reading this post, Let’s Move