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UK Government provides protection for renters affected by coronavirus

The Ministry of Housing in the UK has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.

As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

The government department, in a press release, said that emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, a three-month mortgage payment holiday was also announced yesterday and will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

To support this announcement the government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said, “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.”

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords association said, “Landlord groups welcomes government support. We recognise the exceptional circumstances and we will work collaboratively with government to ensure these measures protect both landlords and tenants.”

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