Coronavirus Update 14/4 - Landlords
Firstly we want to let you all know that we are still up and running at Anglo American. We may not be running very far, Sandra has moved into the study rather than the lounge which means a longer commute to the kettle and Alex has managed to move a couple of tenants into a vacant property by semaphore and a huge amount of improvisation, but it’s all about keeping calm and carrying on, just from a distance!!
The most important news we have to pass on to you is with regard to the Rent Guarantee and Legal Protection which we have in place for your property. This week we have received formal guidance from the Government, the Regulator and our Insurers legal team on how to proceed, should your tenants default on their rental payments.
Firstly, we can assure you that we have been told all policies remain in place, we are still able to renew those policies, and with a certain amount of caution, are still able to put new policies in place for any new tenants. The main point to note is that we are being asked to act with a little more caution before setting in place, any claims for unpaid rent. This is because from today any claim placed in the system must be pursued via the court until vacant possession is given. If at any point during the court process the tenant pays the rent arrears due we will not be able to stop the claim, without all costs to that date being passed on to you, the landlord. This is the major change as previously, in normal times, if the tenant caught up with rent we could either cancel or postpone the claim.
So for now, whilst we remain in these “special measures” as soon as a tenant falls into arrears we are contacting them, making them aware of their obligation and giving them the 2 options which have been recommended, namely, either offer a reduced amount of rent which they know they can afford each month or an offer to pay a reduced amount for a set period of time, with the remainder being paid back via instalments over the next 6 months.
It is important for you to understand that, where at all possible, landlords are being asked to accept any reasonable offer of payment, in the short term, to help us all through this crisis. (There are also offers of help available to landlords which you should also explore if you think you may qualify.) It is equally important that you know we do still have the ability to claim for unpaid rent via our Insurer in all cases. If an agreement is reached for repayment via 6 x monthly instalments or a lower monthly rent is accepted for a given period of time, those claims can be made if a tenant defaults on the agreement. If tenants fail to contact us when requested to do so in order to make an arrangement to pay, we can still begin any claim within the normal time frame of 60 days.
We understand that a lot of you will be anxious, indeed it would be strange not to feel a little worried, these are very strange times indeed and to some extent, we are all making it up as we go along. Fortunately, as a Regulated Agency, we do receive the most up to date guidance as soon as it becomes available, from trusted sources so are able to pass it on to you and to act professionally and correctly, whilst retaining our senses of humour, mostly. As always, please don’t hesitate to telephone or email us,, we are here to help
Alex, Sandra & Linda