Should I find a new tenant now?

by Readers Question

11:56 AM, 5th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Should I find a new tenant now?

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Should I find a new tenant now?

My tenants have now moved on. I have had the flat refurbished and I am wondering whether to try and find a new tenant now, or leave it until the Covid-19 Lockdown measures are eased.

What should I do?

I can manage the flat mortgage and expenses from savings so is it best to wait or get a tenant in now?

Many thanks

Philippe


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Comments

Rob Crawford

15:05 PM, 5th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Moves are permitted but make sure viewings etc are conducted with social distancing in mind. There are many candidates looking and finding it difficult as most agents are not doing viewings. Assuming you can do the viewings safely, anything else can be done on line. Make sure the candidate is an essential worker with an income!

david porter

9:33 AM, 6th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady!

Tamas

9:52 AM, 6th May 2020
About 5 months ago

I was very frustrated, because I had to move and prices are in the sky, higher than before, it's a hard period for a keyworker tenant(s) too...in the and I moved a less than half size place and it's 20% more expensive .... and can you imagine... it was a big fight (it was humiliating for me to beg for basic things), because they didn't provide hot water permanently just 2*2hours daily.
ATM is ok, the neighborhood family is loud, but it's not a problem for me, I can relax everywhere 🙂

Paul Maguire

10:02 AM, 6th May 2020
About 5 months ago

That's a great phrase Tamas...."I can relax everywhere".... the ultimate in "laid back". You've cheered up my day already. Best of luck and stay safe.

Gary Nock

10:20 AM, 6th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Moves are only permissible under Section 6 (2)
( I) of the Coronavirus Act if " reasonably necessary". "Finding a tenant" by itself is not classed as"reasonably necessary". It also has to comply with the associated guidance relating to the let being a " serious and urgent issue".

The Guidance issued by MHCLG in the document “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for
Landlords and Tenants” states on page 20:
“3.11 What about access to a property to conduct viewings or where a move is scheduled?
• Government has advised against home moves wherever possible. See separate advice here
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-
covid-19-outbreak
• We recommend that landlords and tenants engage constructively about access to a property, and that it is only proposed for serious and urgent issues. Follow the Government’s latest guidance on distancing measures necessary to help stop the spread of the virus here:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
• This means that no one should visit the property to conduct viewings, or anything else which is not urgent and health and safety-related.
• Home buyers and renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new home while
emergency measures are in place to fight coronavirus”

For example a key worker needing to self isolate from family, a domestic violence victim, or a person who is homeless. If you fail to comply you break the law.

So you can get a tenant as long as you comply with the above and are seen to do so. You should be aware that if a property is let in contravention of the above and an offence is committed, then any insurance policy in place for risk on that property including buildings, rent insurance, damage, or public liability may be invalidated and render the landlord personally liable. Insurers are looking at all and any loopholes to avoid a claim and a possible unlawful let is an easy get out for them. If a tenant "allegedly" catches the virus from the property and sues you with a no claim no fee company are you happy with that? Can you evidence a" deep clean" with disinfection prior to let?

So do you risk it for the sake of another few weeks of void? And add to the potential spread of the virus in communities? It's your choice both legally and morally.

If you do let then tick all the right boxes and cover your backside.

Tamas

10:50 AM, 6th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 06/05/2020 - 10:20
As a keyworker living with a family to avoid homelessness and they have a heart condition child, I think it's more than reasonable necessary to move.

juliet bonnet

11:36 AM, 6th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 05/05/2020 - 15:05
Hi Philippe, Rob,
I know of an agency who send a walk around video of a property, and if the prospective tenant is happy with everything, (and of course is suitable), issues a tenancy agreement. And on viewing the property if they don't want it, the agreement is torn up.
They also think that viewing in an empty property is generally safer for everyone than in a tenanted property.

Gary Nock

11:46 AM, 6th May 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tamas at 06/05/2020 - 10:50
As long as you document that then you are covered.

donald6NB

8:01 AM, 9th May 2020
About 5 months ago

I would definitely find a new one. There are a lot of agencies out there which can help with it. Recently I could find this website ( here: https://www.landlordzone.co.uk/ ), which can help with any kind of rental property issues and give answers on almost every question about this sphere of business. That's why I can highly recommend it.

Marlena Topple

10:31 AM, 10th May 2020
About 5 months ago

I have a tenant moving out in a week and I have decided to commence advertising the room and see what happens. I have asked the tenant to make a short video of the flat for me which I will add to the advert. He will not be involved with viewings. We are student landlords and I dependent on rent for income. We foresee voids next year and feel we must be proactive with advertising any vacancies so that we are in a position to move forward as soon as the lockdown is over. Depending on the response to our advert we may recruit a tenant before that time which I believe we are allowed to do in the case of an essential move if we observe social distancing and hygiene measures.

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