If you are experiencing financial difficulties meeting your mortgage repayments because of COVID-19, you may be entitled to a mortgage holiday for 3 months. This includes if you are a landlord whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19. The government advice is summarised below:
- Mortgage lenders will offer repayment holidays of 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19
- This will also apply to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19
- Emergency legislation will be taken forward to prevent landlords from starting proceedings to evict tenants for at least a 3 month period
- At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances – this is of significant concern and must be addressed
Labour has called for this to be extended and have published a five-point plan to protect people from eviction:
- Extend the temporary ban on evictions for six months or however long is needed to implement the legal changes below.
- Give residential tenants the same protections as commercial tenants, by protecting them from being made bankrupt by their landlords for non-payment of rent.
- Bring forward the government’s proposal to scrap Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions and outlaw evictions on the grounds of rent arrears if the arrears were accrued because of hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis.
- Once evictions are prevented, grant renters at least two years to pay back any arrears accrued during this period.
- Speed up and improve the provision of Universal Credit, as Labour recently called for, and consider a temporary increase to the Local Housing Allowance to help prevent risk of homelessness.