Tips for Landlords and Tenants – Staying Healthy and Safe

We hope you and your family are keeping safe and looking after yourself during the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

You would be aware of the measures, guidelines and restrictions that have been announced by the government, in the news and on social media. 

However, with so much information readily available it can be overwhelming to keep up to date.

That’s why we’ve written this guide to explain what options are available for landlords and tenants to help during these unprecedented times.

Because the information is changing so fast, we recommend that you read official government information at We have provided some relevant resources at the end of this guide.

Financial Protection and Help for Landlords:

As part of the Government’s response to the coronavirus emergency, banks and lenders agreed to allow landlords with buy-to-let mortgages to apply for a three-month mortgage holiday. 

This means, during this three-month period landlords will not have to make the scheduled mortgage payments. (Important: interest will continue to accrue, which means higher mortgage payments will be required afterwards).

If your tenant has been affected by the coronavirus, then the UK Finance recommends that you contact your lender immediately to discuss your options.

If you are successful in your application for a mortgage holiday, UK Finance confirms that banks and lenders will make every effort to ensure that the payment holiday does not negatively impact on your credit rating.

If you have rental insurance, they may not necessarily cover you if your tenant cannot pay rent during this time. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider directly.

Finally, the Bank of England has cut interest rates again in an emergency move. It is the second cut in interest rates in just over a week, bringing them down to 0.1% from 0.25%, which is the lowest interest rate ever in the Bank’s 325-year history.

Financial Protection and Help for Tenants:

Emergency legislation is being taken forward to stop evictions of tenants from social or private rented accommodation. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation should worry about the threat of eviction for at least the next three months.

Landlords have been asked by the government to show understanding at this time and to allow tenants who are affected to remain in their homes. At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will need to work together to set up an affordable repayment plan. Ultimately, any rent that is deferred will still be expected to be paid back later as part of a payment arrangement.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus, before you ask your landlord to surrender your tenancy early, we recommend discussing a payment plan with your landlord. Your landlord may offer a rent reduction or a rent deferral.

If you’ve recently been made redundant should contact their former employer to see if they can access a grant from HMRC that can cover up to 80% of the salary (maximum of £2,500 per month) for each employee to ensure their job is retained. This scheme is backdated so that employees recently made redundant may be rehired and covered by the scheme.

If you are a self-employed tenant and need financial assistance, then you may apply for a taxable grant equivalent to £2,500 per month or 80% of your monthly profits averaged over the last three years (whichever is lower). This will be paid in one lump sum to cover a three-month period, which is likely to be paid in June.

If you are unable to work due to sickness or self-isolation you are entitled to statutory sick pay if you qualify for it, or the sick pay related to their terms of employment.

If you are concerned about paying your utility bills, then contact your energy supplier. Some suppliers are putting emergency measures in place to ensure vulnerable tenants will not have utilities suspended during this period.

If you have financial difficulties and can’t benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, then we recommend that you apply for Universal Credit at

Another source to check for help if you are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus, is from council’s local welfare assistance scheme. They may be able to provide discretionary housing payments, free used furniture and/or food vouchers to help.

Health and Safety in HMOs for Tenants, Landlords and Agents:

If you are a tenant in shared accommodation, such as HMO’s and you are experiencing symptoms from the coronavirus, then let your property manager know. They will inform fellow tenants. As per the government recommendations, you and everyone in the accommodation will need to self-isolate for 14 days. 

As an agent or landlord, if you do need to interact with your tenants during this time you should consider if can do so via phone, text or email. If you must visit the property, for maintenance, then then you should practice social distancing during any visits. You and any contractors should also ensure you are following the Government’s guidance on handwashing while visiting the property.

Ensure that common areas are cleaned with household disinfectant, especially if a tenant with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) has been in these areas. To clean with protection, wherever possible, wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons. 

Clean surfaces using a disposable cloth with warm soapy water, followed by disinfect. Pay attention to frequently touched surfaces, such as bathrooms, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells and door handles.

In addition to the government requirements for social distancing, living in HMO’s can mean you are in close contact with others. We recommend the additional measures be taken now:

  • use a separate bathroom, if possible, for anyone with coronavirus symptoms. If there is only one bathroom, then set up a rota so that the self-isolated person uses the bathroom last. They should not use towels anyone else uses and should the clean the bathroom thoroughly before leaving.
  • avoid using a shared kitchen while others are using it, if you have symptoms. In addition, wear a face mask, use the kitchen after everyone else and take your food back to your room. 
  • set aside an area of the kitchen worktop for anyone with symptoms
  • use separate tea towels and keep these in your room
  • eat your meals in your room
  • use a dishwasher, if you have one
  • use separate dish cloths, crockery, cutlery and pots, pans or saucers 
  • do not shake dirty laundry 
  • and, finally, be very thorough with regular handwashing or hand sanitising

Social Responsibility:

Practicing good hygiene and keeping social distance is the most powerful way to fight this virus and save lives.

Remember, if you can stay home, you must stay home.

The government is limiting the movement of the entire UK population. Most people are now required to only leave the house for limited reasons:

  • Shopping for essentials (food, medicine, etc) 
  • To exercise once a day – for example go for a run, a walk, or cycle, or walk your dog
  • Travelling to and from work where the work cannot be done from home – Employers and employees should discuss working arrangements, and employers should help employees work from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment for remote working
  • To care for a vulnerable person 
  • For a medical reason

If you leave the house you are not allowed to congregate in groups of more than two people, unless the other people are all part of your immediate household.

From 23rd March 2020, the government is also recommending that people at higher risk due to an underlying health condition self-isolate strictly for the next 12 weeks.

What can you do today? 

  • stay at home unless necessary 
  • keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other people 
  • avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people.
  • avoid visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.


If you’d like to find out more, then call us on +44 (0) 203 286 6468 or email us at

Together we can protect each other during these difficult and uncertain times.


P.S. Remember to keep your distance and stay home unless it is necessary. I hope our paths cross again soon.

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