Uncertainty for landlords seeking possession during coronavirus outbreak

With more financial uncertainty for all in light of the coronavirus pandemic, emergency legislation is set to protect both landlords and tenants. “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.” – Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP.
Whilst details are still emerging, we understand the following measures are soon to be implemented in relation to residential tenancies:
  • No new possession proceedings to be issued during the crisis – Landlords will be prevented from applying to Court for a possession order for at least a three month period.
    • The status of notices already issued to tenants remains unclear, and no new prescribed form of notice has been announced in line with these changes.
    • Landlords that have already started their possession claims can also expect some delay before receiving a hearing date. The Courts have been instructed to stop listing multiple hearings on the same day to ensure social distancing, and many are postponing possession hearings until June 2020. 
  • Three month mortgage payment holiday – Landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus will be eligible to the relief, and will be expected to establish an affordable repayment plan with tenants at the end of this period.
  • Help to Buy interest holiday – Landlords who have benefited from a government backed Help to Buy equity loan will be offered interest payment holidays if they are struggling to pay due to coronavirus.
At this stage, it is unclear what impact this emergency legislation will have upon each stage of the possession chain, save that claims will likely be delayed whilst the outbreak continues. More details will follow once the government provide further guidance on these new measures.
Wansbroughs are here to help in this period of uncertainty, and if you would like to discuss the status of your claim – whether you are considering serving a notice, or have already obtained an order for possession – then please get in touch with your usual contact or email: oliver.price@wansbroughs.com or josh.taylor@wansbroughs.com.

Last updated 25/03/2020