Shropshire Council

Landlord and tenant information and guidance - coronavirus (Covid-19)

Tenants

Can I still contact my landlord about repairs?

Yes - your landlord’s repairing obligations haven't changed. You still have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live. You should report any repairs or problems to your landlord or letting agent without delay, and allow them a reasonable opportunity to resolve them. 

What happens if my landlord isn't carrying out the repairs?

The Community Protection Team is here to help if the issue isn't resolved following contact with your landlord. Priority is being placed on cases where the risk to health and safety is severe, and we may ask you to email us with photos or smartphone video of the issue. Please contact the Community Protection Team on 0345 678 9067 or email: communityprotection@shropshire.gov.uk  

We'll then contact your landlord and work with them to get a resolution to the issue, taking a pragmatic approach. We find that we can resolve the overwhelming number of issues in this way, and only having explored every option would we consider enforcement options as a last resort.  
  

I'm struggling to pay my rent, what can I do? 

You should continue paying rent and abiding by the terms of your tenancy agreement to the best of your ability. If your ability to pay rent is being affected by the outbreak, it's important that you have an early conversation with your landlord. The government has a strong package of financial support available to tenants. Further information can be found from:

Can my landlord evict me?

There have been some temporary changes made to eviction. Please see our page on ending a tenancy 

Other useful information

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance for landlords and tenants

Includes information on many tenancy issues, such as:  

  • Protections for tenants under the Coronavirus Act 2020, in force from 26 March 2020
  • I have lost my job, which came with accommodation, and they've told me I have to move out. What rights do I have?  
  • Court action on housing possession cases during the coronavirus outbreak  
  • Property access and health and safety obligations  
  • My landlord wants access to my property to conduct viewings for sale or letting, do I have to let them in?  
  • Someone in my 'house in multiple occupation' (HMO) has the virus. Is my landlord obliged to remove them or find me another place to stay? 

Landlords

You're still under a legal obligation to keep your property in repair and ensure that any necessary inspections are undertaken. These must be, however, balanced against the risk of infection or spread of the virus.  

Do I still need to carry out a gas safety check?

Gas safety inspections can still be undertaken as they're classed as essential works, provided that everyone follows social distancing practices and the inspector, tenants and landlord are not symptomatic at the time.   

You're encouraged to start trying to arrange inspections as early as possible. There's flexibility to carry out annual gas safety checks two months before the deadline and still retain the original deadline date, as if they had been carried out exactly 12 months after the previous certificate.  

Landlords of licensed HMOs are still required to submit a copy of the gas safety certificate every 12 months. These can be emailed to HMO@shropshire.gov.uk 

Find out more about gas safety during the outbreak.

Am I required to obtain an electrical safety certificate?

The new electrical safety standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations were made on the 18 March 2020, and apply to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020, and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.

Do I need to obtain an energy performance certificate?

The legal requirement to obtain an energy performance certificate (EPC) before selling or letting a property remains in place. 

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) came fully into force in England and Wales on 1 April 2020. Before that, they'd just applied to new and renewed tenancies. Now they apply to existing tenancies as well.

My tenant won't allow access for inspections or repairs. What can I do?

If you can show that you've taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, you're not in breach of the duty. You should keep copies of all correspondence with tenants and contractors to demonstrate that you've tried to arrange the work.  

Should I still be undertaking ‘Right to Rent’ checks on my tenants during the pandemic?

Right to Rent checks have been temporarily adjusted due to coronavirus to make it easier for landlords to carry them out. Take a look at the Gov.UK website for more information.

Is there any financial support available for landlords?

To ensure that landlords can temporarily absorb rent arrears if tenants lose their job, or have reduced income due to coronavirus measures, the government has agreed with mortgage lenders that buy-to-let landlords can apply for a mortgage payment holiday. For more information contact your lender directly.  

Other useful information

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance for landlords and tenants