Today’s update: Eviction ban & payment holidays

Hello readers. As events continue to change on a day-by-day basis, we have seen further legislation today that will have a dramatic effect on landlords throughout the UK.

The government has today announced plans for a suspension of the eviction process and that the payment holiday of up to three months will extend to buy-to-let mortgages as part of a package of measures introduced by the government in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the thousands of people who have been left without work and any income to live on, this payment holiday will serve as a very welcome cushion and relief throughout the buy-to-let sector. I do not doubt however, that further legislation would be needed should the current situation extend beyond three months.

This payment holiday will be offered on the understanding that the benefit will be passed to the tenant, who will work with you to set up an affordable payment plan after that.

The practicalities of this are yet to be confirmed and I recommend speaking with your mortgage provider if you need to apply for this and it is not immediately clear whether this will apply to buy-to-let mortgages within a limited company.

Of this, SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “A three-month holiday for mortgage holders who suffer financially as a result of coronavirus will be welcomed by many who have been worried about their jobs and how they will pay the mortgage.

Remember that as it stands interest will still be calculated over the period of the payment holiday and then added to the loan along with the repayment part of the payment.

The monthly direct debit may then be increased to cover the amount added once you resume your payments.”

As part of plans to suspend the eviction process, no new possession proceedings may start during the crisis. The government will also bring forward emergency legislation meaning that landlords will be unable to start eviction proceedings for a three-month period; whatever the reason.

This legislation is expected to appear in the commons next week and I will endeavour to keep you updated as it progresses.

These certainly are unprecedented times, however it is positive to hear that the government is considering businesses as well as individuals. In terms of the three-month payment holiday, I would strongly advise that you seek advice from your mortgage company prior to discussing it with your tenants.

I will continue to keep you updated as things progress. Things are changing quickly and if I can be of any assistance, or you simply need some advice, you can contact me by emailing hasan@home-share.co.uk.

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