COVID-19: Proposed new emergency measures for Residential Tenancies
25 March 2020
The Government has approved a series of emergency measures to protect residential tenants who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The legislation is expected to be published next week and will include:
1. A moratorium on notices of termination for the duration of the pandemic.
2. An increase in the notice period for terminating a tenancy of less than 6 months from 28 days to 90 days.
3. A moratorium on rent increases for the duration of the pandemic.
These amendments are to be temporary and after the pandemic has ended, residential tenancies will revert to the current legislative arrangements.
The Minister has not proposed a rent payment moratorium so tenants would still be expected to continue to pay rent during this emergency period. However, the Minister did state that these measures are intended to compliment measures announced by the 5 main retail banks earlier this month which included 3 month mortgage repayment breaks to be offered to Landlords with buy to let mortgages whose tenants have been impacted by Covid-19. Therefore, the Government expects the landlords to pass that flexibility onto their tenants, but they are not obliged to do so.