Newly updated guidance to help protect tenants and private landlords during the Covid-19 emergency has been released by Wirral Council.
The documents contain lots of practical tips on how tenants and landlords can continue to manage and maintain the property as safely as possible.
The guidance for people who rent from private landlords includes advice on:
- Dealing with disrepair
- Access to your home by the landlord
- Safely managing shared facilities
It also outlines a recent government ruling that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants until 23 August at the earliest.
This means that anyone who rents from private or social landlords will not face the threat of imminent eviction and cannot be forced out of their home during this difficult time.
Separate guidance, which has been sent to over 2,000 private landlords in Wirral, includes advice on:
- Visiting a property
- Carrying out electrical and gas safety checks
- Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
Recognising the additional pressures the health emergency has put on many landlords, the government has also recently confirmed that the three month payment holiday will be extended to include landlords with buy-to-let mortgages and whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. It is hoped that this will alleviate the financial stress on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves and will mean unnecessary pressure will not be put on their tenants as a result.
At the end of the mortgage holiday, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account the tenant’s individual circumstances.
Wirral Council’s cabinet member for housing and planning, Cllr Stuart Whittingham, said: “Although Coronavirus has impacted on everyone’s lives, it has brought added difficulties for people who rent their home and especially those who share communal spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. We hope the guidance for tenants, which is being sent out to around 2,500 renters in the borough, will provide some reassurance.
“Social distancing protocols and the economic pressures on many tenants are also making things more difficult for landlords, so I hope they will find the guidance useful and it will help them to continue to manage and maintain their property as safely as possible.”
The guidance for tenants and landlords is available on the Wirral Council website at www.wirral.gov.uk/housing/housing-information-and-advice.