Story posted: 09.04.20
During such uncertain times, we understand the concern for many landlords will be whether a tenant is able to continue paying rent in full or on time. At Ashtons, we have optimised our rent management process to track, mediate and support the landlord and tenants during this unsettled period.
We’re also pleased to extend our Premier Management Service. By upgrading to this service, landlords will receive rent guarantee protection insurance and legal expense cover should a tenant not be able to meet rent payments.
We have compiled some answers to the most commonly asked questions received so far, which hopefully you’ll find useful.
Q. What is Ashtons Premier Management Service?
This service offers total peace of mind for our landlords and has become very popular since its launch. Landlords receive rent protection for 6 months and £50,000 cover towards any legal fees. For more information please don’t hesitate to call us on 01727 808818 or enquire via ashtons.co.uk
Q. What happens if a tenant reports a change to their household income or employment status?
Guidance from Shelter and the Government state rents should be considered a ‘priority debt’. Therefore, communication is key and we will talk through all viable options with tenants and landlords if the issue should arise.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme introduced by the Government, supports employers who furlough their staff by paying 80% of their salary. Ashtons can discuss with you the options of deferred rent payments if the tenant experiences a change in employment status.
There is help for self-employed tenants. The Government have introduced a subsidy to allow the self-employed to claim 80% of their profits (up to £2,500 per month). Payable from June 2020, Universal Credit can also be claimed for additional help.
Q. I’m going to struggle financially if there is a shortfall in rent payments, what can I do?
We would advise you to speak to your lender for information on the “mortgage holiday” scheme. This includes but-to-let mortgages where tenants are having difficulty meeting the rental payments. Further financial advice can also be found on the Citizens Advice website.
Q. Is there any further help provided through Local Housing Allowance?
Yes, this will increase by 30% of market rents eligible through Universal Credit payments for those requiring support paying their housing costs.
Q. What should I do if my tenant contacts me directly?
Should your tenant contact you with financial difficulties, we can help. Using guidance on the options available through the Department of Work & Pensions to obtain financial support to pay their rents.
Q. What is the emergency legislation introduced by the Government affecting Section 21 (no-fault evictions) and Section 8 Notices for breach of contract?
The 2-month notice period has now been extended to 3-months from service. Courts have postponed evictions currently in the system. This emergency legislation offers tenants added protection if they were to breach tenancy conditions. Ashtons are now also offering arrears mediation services to work with the tenant to find payment solutions to try and avoid such situations arising.
Q. I have rent insurance, is this applicable in this situation?
It is recommended to check with your policy holder to see if a claim will be supported if your tenant should fall behind on rent payments.
Q. How are Ashtons able to offer the same level of service during this period?
Even though our offices are closed, the team are working remotely and continue to offer an uninterrupted high level of service Ashtons are renowned for. We are still receiving tenant enquiries and where possible, offering virtual viewings for our listed properties.
Q. What happens if an emergency repair is required at my rental property?
Don’t worry, our online 24/7 property maintenance service remains available for tenants to report maintenance issues. Please note, we are prioritising emergency repairs such as heating, hot water & safety issues to reduce non-urgent contractor contact with tenants and to remain available for essential works. Property visits been postponed to protect your tenants and our staff.
Q. My tenant is due to end their tenancy soon, what should I do?
Rest assured; we are still operating remotely to support you. Contact us with any questions you have, we are here to help all our client’s stay safe whilst continuing on their property journey.
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