3 months ago - 3 minute read
Despite the daily briefings, it still feels unclear how the lockdown will affect renters. If you’ve already signed a rental contract and paid your fees or if you were looking to move out, below I’ve outlined the key information for renters.
It is a bit unclear. In some circumstances, yes. This includes if you have already signed a contract or are needing accommodation where moving is essential and there is no way to avoid it.
The government is recommending people put any housing changes on hold. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove suggests you should postpone your house moves, but noted that there are specific circumstances where this will not be possible. When questioned a government spokesperson outlined “If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus."
The British Association of Removals (BAR) is strongly recommending its members to complete any moves then cancel or suspend any that they haven’t begun.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have outlined that real estate agents are not 'essential businesses' and should close their offices.
Physical branches should be closed at this time as it is considered ‘non-essential’ however your agent or landlord may be remotely working as listings are still being put up on property sites.
The steps you should take:
Even though you may have just signed a tenancy, there is no ‘cooling off period’. Tenancies agreed in advance are usually binding whether you move in or not.
As outlined by Shelter, if you already have a tenancy agreement, you can only end the fixed term contract if:
Due to the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19, it’s about negotiating. You don’t want to be paying double rent or to not have a home.
Review what makes you feel comfortable and is essential under your own circumstances, you’ll need this before you approach negotiating with your agent or landlord.
2. Talk to both your new and old property agency or landlord.
When you have this information, it’s time to have an open discussion with both your current and potentially new agent or landlord. You’ll want to discuss compromises including move in dates.
The Law Society recommends the following points to structure a discussion on if there can be delays to your move:
Keep in mind you have the right to rent a safe home and to be treated fairly. If you need help with templating emails, we have some available here.
3. If you are needing further assistance, contact Shelter for support
Shelter can provide further guidance to your unique situation.
SpareRoom has reported seeing a 15% increase in adverts from agents and a 12% uplift from landlords which is being driven by short-term Airbnbs changing over to longer term rents. With the lockdowns in place, the decrease in tourism is meaning that property owners are looking for long term security.
It’s worth thinking about your long-term budget and all the costs associated with moving house. If you’re needing support or deposit options, sign up to our waitlist here.
Physical viewings and house moves have been banned following Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement. To find a property during the coronavirus social distancing, you may consider:
It’s a tough time for renters and I hope that you are staying safe. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments and I’ll try and find the answers.
3 months ago - 3 minute read