Coronavirus and letting agents?

by Readers Question

10:14 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Coronavirus and letting agents?

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Coronavirus and letting agents?

I have just had a rather curt message from one of my letting agents saying they are doing their best, but they have “drastically” reduced staff.

I have not heard from my second letting agent, although I left a message a few days ago.

For one of my tenants I have contact details and the other not.

Should I be worried about the agencies’ survival?

Many thanks

Sue



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:18 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Hi Sue,

All businesses and employees will be going through challenging times at the moment and the situation on the ground is changing on a daily basis so will need our support for when we come out the other end.

If you don't need anything right now I would give them time to come back to you but check they have Client Money Protection insurance as that will put your mind at rest hopefully.

BB

9:25 AM, 26th March 2020
About A week ago

Here's something I ve been mulling over in the past 2 weeks or so. Perhaps please Neil you might advise me what the likelihood and best scenario outcome might be.

A tenant of mine is coming to the end of their tenancy, (27 next month) she won't be renewing as she has purchased. Both myself and my letting agent tried contacting them 2 weeks ago to allow or agree to viewings, but she didn't reply.

Now the LA much as did Sue's - sent out an email to the same affect. No viewings, no staffing offices etc etc. So given there is currently a total lockdown in the UK with only exceptions to emergencies, essential travel etc. will the tenant be able to leave next month if this is still in place? As she requires removal vans.

Next question please, in the event that your departing tenant (or this could easily be the case for sales/purchases) is willing to allow viewings, but the LA won't conduct these, and to obey there is the "no more than 2 people gathering" requirement. Could the agent allow the viewing to be conducted, between the current tenant and prospective tenant IF all concerned adhere to requirements i.e. Social distancing, hand sanitizer, face masks?

Finally what about check out inspections, inventories and return of deposits?

Thank you. Take care and stay safe.

Emma Lee

20:50 PM, 26th March 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by BB at 26/03/2020 - 09:25
House moves are not considered essential travel or business and as such everything in that sense should be put on hold.

It is highly unlikely that your tenant will be able to move out before the lockdown has been lifted. She will not be able to arrange for movers/vans during the lockdown.

You are also not allowed to have any kind of viewings for the place during the lockdown as this is not considered essential.

BB

2:13 AM, 27th March 2020
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Emma Lee at 26/03/2020 - 20:50Thank you very much Emma. I don't know in what capacity or with what qualifications you have answered this, but never the less I am grateful, and it's the only one.
So what are your thoughts regarding the inventory and check out inspection, if the tenant leaves anyway? Who would conduct this? Also if the lockdown is extended for months as has been suggested, what then regards the deposit? Equally if the tenant is forced to stay against her will - what then can a landlord charge?
Sorry to ask you Emma, but if my LA were able to, I wouldn't need to post here.


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