COVID19: Tenant Tip Checklist
Here are our top tips for dealing with tenants through this Covid 19 crisis.
For all tenants:
Contact them and make sure they’re OK. Call, text or e-mail and do it often to continue the care. Not only is this a decent thing to do as a responsible landlord but they are much more likely to keep paying their rent if they feel you’re on their side. Keep communication lines open.
Provide contact free methods of paying rent and dealing with them. If you still have tenants who pay in cash and that is collected physically then now is the time to move them onto a DD arrangement. Provide them with a letter and the detail needed to set that up.
Contact any letting agents you use and ask them for their Covid 19 protocols.
Payment of rents:
- Most tenants will still beable to pay their rents and there will be no change in the financial circumstances of the following:
- Most people over the age of 70 will have a pension of some kind and this will continue as normal.
- All social housing tenants will still be paid their housing allowances as normal.Students will still be paid their grant monies or subsides as normal.
- People who work in certain professions such as teachers will still be paid as normal.
- People who are asked to work from home will still be paid as normal.
- Most people who have full time employment will be paid as normal and their employer will claim allowances from the government.
- There will be some tenants who do not fit into one of those categories and that will be because they’re either self employed or work on a zero hours contract or they get laid off as a result of the virus.
- For them:
- Point them to the government web site regarding benefits. The self employed are going to receive extra allowances and statutory sick pay is being expanded. They will still be able to claim job seekers allowances.
HOWEVER, the really difficult cases are those who are going to be in isolation for 12 weeks with no income. Although that’s likely to be a small number of tenants, there isn’t any
obvious government help for these people at the moment. In these cases, open a dialogue with your tenant about:
- How much rent they can pay
- Now might be time to use your contingency fund
HMOs are a special case and as well as the general information here there will be a separate information sheet about caring for people in HMO’s.
SA is a different strategy and in addition to the general information here, there will be a separate information sheet about SA strategies.