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Updated guidance for landlords

Legislation is in place to ensure bailiffs do not serve eviction notices or carry out evictions, said latest Government Guidance for Landlords and Tenants, just published.

But there are exemptions for the most serious circumstances that present the most strain on landlords. ‘These circumstances are illegal occupation, false statement, anti-social behaviour, perpetrators of domestic abuse in the social rented sector, where a property is unoccupied following death of a tenant and serious rent arrears greater than 6 months’ rent’.

These measures are in force until the end of 31 May. Given that 14 days’ notice is required before an eviction can take place, no evictions are expected before mid-June except in the most serious circumstances.

However, there may be additional risks involved in moving into an HMO at this time, which is why it is important that all involved take reasonable precautions, according to the guidance.

‘During viewings, tenants that share an HMO are advised to stay out of indoor common areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms or sittings areas, during a viewing. If it is not a tenant’s own private room that is being viewed they can also remain inside their room with the doors closed’.

Moves into student accommodation are allowed. Letting agents, universities and accommodation providers should consider how best to conduct tenancy check-ins, following the latest public health advice and taking reasonable steps to reduce transmission.