As the coronavirus emergency continues clients have raised issues with me concerning their residential tenants these are some of the questions that have arisen.
Do they still have to pay the rent?
I have student tenants who have moved out of my property.
Whilst the emergency legislation has restricted the steps landlords can take to remove tenants (see blog here) this legislation does not change the tenants’ contractual obligations.
If they are within a fixed term tenancy they are still due to pay the rent up to the end of the contractual period and the landlord has no obligation to waive any of the rent.
If the tenants leave the property and are not returning (usually by confirming in writing or by returning the keys) you should carry out the normal “check out” procedures and inspections, when you can do so safely, and calculate the amount due from the tenant including rent to the end of the contractual period.
Landlords should minimise their loss of rent by finding replacement tenants as soon as possible but in current circumstances that is unlikely to be possible. Also, remember that guarantors, if you have them, are responsible for the tenants’ arrears so once you have the final figure due you should inform the tenants and the guarantors of the amount due and seek legal advice if there is any dispute.
Can I start legal proceedings in the courts?
I served notice on my tenants before the emergence legislation was introduced.
The courts have said that no court action “can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted” for 90 days.
I now know that courts are not accepting proceedings at all and have had a set returned by a court with the explanation that they “are not accepting any new possession claims”.
It appears claims cannot be issued until after the 90 day period ends.
In the meantime I can advise on the serving of notice on tenants so you are in the strongest position to proceed when the emergency period ends.Disputes Questions Regarding Commercial Tenants
How Kerseys Can Help
If you require any advice or assistant, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or telephone me on 01473 407147 where I will be happy to help.