Covid-19 Support for homeowners, landlords and renters

Support for homeowners and landlords

The government has announced a 3-month mortgage payment holiday will be available to Buy to Let mortgages. Private landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus shall be eligible, on the understanding that the landlords will be expected to offer a similar rent holiday to their tenants.

Many banks have pledged to offer support for all homeowners, if their income has been affected by the disruption from the coronavirus. This could include:

  • short-term support through reduced or deferred payments for mortgages
  • longer-term support through extending the remaining term of mortgage, switching rates or switching part or all to interest-only mortgage arrangements
  • giving early access to fixed-rate savings accounts without closure charges
  • support for anyone with unsecured debt through reduced payments or breathing space to defer payments due.
  • the option of a temporary increase in credit card and overdraft limits
  • Reduced or no fees for missed payments on credit cards, loans and mortgages

Please contact your bank to discuss these options with them. Note, however, that the waiting times on telephone calls are currently much longer than normal.

Landlords should also contact their Insurance providers to understand if there may be a claim for business interruption if the tenants fail to pay due to coronavirus.

Advice from the National Landlords Association is available here.

Support for renters

On 18th March 2020, the government announced a package of measures to protect renters, including

  • Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
  • No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
  • Widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on the possession proceedings to include private renters

Additionally, landlords will be expected to work together with the tenants to establish an affordable payment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances. Further details are available here.

The Chancellor has extended the Housing Benefit and Universal Credit so that the local housing allowance will cover at least 30% of market rent.

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