Private Landlords and Tenants
GOV UK has published information for private landlords and tenants in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic, including information on property access, health and safety obligations, possession proceedings and evictions.
- For information about other City of Lincoln Council services relating to housing please see our City of Lincoln page: lincoln.gov.uk/coronavirus-1/coronavirus-covid-19
- If you think you might be at risk please read our Covid-19 UK Information and Advice page: lincoln.gov.uk/coronavirus-1/coronavirus-covid-19/11
Key Information for Private Landlords and Tenants
On this page you will find key information for Landlords and Tenants in the private rented sector.
Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Tenants should discuss with their landlord if they are struggling to pay their rent.
Landlords should offer support and understanding to tenants who could be seeing their income fluctuate.
Further advice is available for landlords and tenants on these websites:
New protections for tenants in the private rented sector have been put in place so that where a landlord does need to issue a notice seeking possession, and this is served on or after 29 August 2020, the notice period must be for six months. Any Housing Act 1988 s.21 notices properly served prior to that date remain at 3 months' notice period given.
At the expiry of the s.21 notice, a landlord cannot force a tenant to leave as possession can only be obtained through court proceedings if the tenant does not vacate.
Where a landlord is relying on an Anti-Social Behaviour ground when serving a Housing Act 1988 s.8 notice for possession, that is grounds 7A or ground 14, the notice period will now be reset to the original Housing Act 1988 time periods.
Where rent arrears are a factor, the notice period for a s.8 notice depends on whether or not six months’ rent is unpaid at the time the notice is served. If six months or more rent is unpaid then for grounds 8, 10 and 11 the notice period is just four weeks, whereas if less than six month’s rent is unpaid then the notice period is six months.
For further information regarding notices seeking possession and evictions please read the latest government guidance
Eviction of tenants by any means other than through a court order is unlawful and the council will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who attempt to illegally evict or harass tenants.
Tenants who are worried that they may be asked to leave their home should submit the online form at the bottom of this page.
Repairs and Maintenance
Landlords’ repair obligations have not changed.
Tenants have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live.
We understand that inspections may be more difficult at this time, but this is not a reason for landlords to allow dangerous conditions to persist.
Tenants should let their landlord know as soon as possible if they encounter issues with the condition of their property.
Landlords and contractors should still be allowed to access a property to remedy urgent health and safety issues, such as a faulty boiler, leaking roof, defective bathroom facilities etc.
Please read the government advice on carrying out works in people’s homes
Landlords Safety Obligations
Regulations in respect of gas and electrical safety will still apply.
Landlords should make every effort to abide by the existing gas safety regulations and the electrical safety regulations which come into force on 1 July 2020.
If a property cannot be accessed due to restrictions in place to tackle COVID-19 or a contractor cannot be secured to carry out the necessary work, landlords should document their attempts to do so.
There are provisions in both regulations for non-compliance where landlords can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with their duty under these regulations.
Further advice for Landlords is available on the gas safe register website: gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/landlords/
Houses in Multiple Occupation
All tenants living in accommodation which is shared with other people and households (HMOs) should follow the current government guidance
Should a person in the HMO show symptoms of Covid-19 it is important for all occupants follow the stay at home guidance
Communication between landlords and tenants should be honest and open to ensure the safety of all tenants and any persons visiting the property for emergency repairs and maintenance.
Landlords can download further information and a document for any tenants occupying a House in Multiple Occupation at www.dashservices.org.uk/news
Further Information for Landlords and Tenants
Further information and details on the above topics is also available at: gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities
The City of Lincoln Council Private Sector Housing Enforcement Team continue to work to ensure tenants are kept safe and landlords are supported.
However, due to the measures in place to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, our actions and decisions will be based on risk to all those involved and visits will only be carried out when deemed absolutely necessary.
Worried about being asked to leave your home?
If you are worried that your landlord might ask you to leave your rented property or if you have already been given notice to leave, please complete the online form below.
The Private Housing Team will contact you to see what we can do to help.
Alternatively, if you wish to speak with a member of our team about your concerns, please call our dedicated helpline on 01522 873 787
(Please note the help line is available between 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday).