How will Coronavirus affect the rental sector and how can we support each other?

How will Coronavirus affect the rental sector and how can we support each other?

23rd Mar, 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has now advised that for rental properties, all viewings, property inspections and non-essential works are not to take place. Only transactions that were already progressing can proceed and then only in essential cases. Currently, gas certificates and other essential works are to take place; however risk assessments for tenants' and contractors' health and safety should be adhered to, to avoid any infection.

Whilst David Cox of ARLA asked the Government to postpone the Electrical Certificate requirements for newly let properties, sheduled for the first of July, it appears this will still be rolled out. The changes to EPC Regulations have also still gone ahead on the first of April as planned, which means that landlords must ensure their properties are a minimum of an ‘E’ rating or invest up to £3,500 on increasing the energy efficiency of the property to avoid ‘G’ or ‘F’ ratings. When the property remains less than an ‘E’ rating after works have been carried out, this property must be registered to be provided with an exemption.

In addition, after last month was officially named as the ‘wettest’ February on record, both agencies and landlords have reported an unparalleled number of maintenance jobs – and damage works – requested by tenants during the recent storms.

During periods of bad weather, all trades are under immense strain – in particular roofers – but also builders and plumbers. As such, Applegate has noted a 100% increase in upkeep works over the past six-weeks. Furthermore, as the Coronavirus outbreak continuing to cause disruption, we expect to see a 78% rise in maintenance works as the need to maintain public interest in viewings and sales also rises.

While this has put tremendous pressure on the team, Applegate would like to thank all landlords and tenants for their patience and support during this unusually busy and challenging time.

We would also like to extend our thanks to our fantastic contractors who have been professional and efficient during a tough time for the sector.

For further support and information, please speak to our team.

View all posts by Rebecca Stead

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