DSS Tenancies and COVID-19: is your agent working for you?
Since the country went into lock down in March 2020, the word “uncertainty” has become a well used part of our vocabulary. It’s an emotional and/or financial state that most of us have encountered to some degree over the last 11 months. As letting agents with houses to rent Walkden based Pick My Pad are used to some level of uncertainty. Housing markets fluctuate, new legislation pops up all the time and the wants and needs of tenants and landlords is ever changing.
Whilst we’ve seen the sales market undergo all sorts of highs and lows with the value of house sales up 26% in 2020, and the busiest month in a decade recorded in July, not to mention the stamp duty holiday and subsequent extensions, what about the rental market? And more specifically, the DSS market?
It’s fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new financial uncertainty for many. And with it many are facing the daunting task of claiming Government benefits, such as Universal Credit, for the very first time. The furlough scheme and other business support packages have been a lifeline but it’s not stopped 100s of 1000s of people finding themselves in financial hardship and struggling to pay the rent, utility bills and food costs. With record numbers of people now claiming housing benefits due to financial hardship, the DSS tenant market is becoming an area many private letting agents and landlords are exploring for the first time.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 was introduced to protect most tenants in the private and social rented sectors by putting into place measures that require landlords to give an extended notice of intention to seek possession to their tenants. For notices issued between 26 March to 28 August 2020, the required notice period was three months. The provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 have been extended meaning that from 29 August 2020, landlords must provide six months’ notice to their tenants in most circumstances. This said, there are some (serious) cases where it is right that landlords are able to start progressing within a shorter time frame.
Whilst this vital step protects the most vulnerable of tenants, it doesn’t stop landlords from falling into financial difficulty. Without the guaranteed rent from their tenants many small landlords are also struggling to make mortgage repayments. And so the financial burden of the pandemic passes through the rental market in a constant game of cat and mouse.
Houses to rent Walkden
Have you found yourself in uncertain financial times as a result of COVID-19 and don’t know which way to turn?
Whether you are a LANDLORD or TENANT with houses to rent Walkden estate agents Pick My Pad can help you along that path, reassuring you that your home is financially safe.
Navigating the Government benefits system for the first time can be very daunting, particularly if you are not aware of what you are entitled to, but there’s no need to feel afraid. At Pick My Pad we have the knowledge and expertise in dealing with DSS tenancies, and the paperwork and application process that come with it. We have studied the rates for 2021 and are up to speed on the legislation so we can fully support you.
We endeavour to help you any way we can so please, feel free to call into the office for a cup of tea where we can sit down with you and explain things further. You can also contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 0161 790 3999.