28 Mar 2020

A message for Landlords

Due to the government lockdown and following advice on coronavirus we will no longer be open for any visits to our offices.

We have launched a new online service where tenants can report any maintenance issue that they may have. They will have received a link already to create a login.

If you wish to view this then please go to https://milesbarr.fixflo.com/Auth/HomeIssueCreate

It is unlikely whether we will be able to deal with any non-urgent maintenance issues and have asked your tenants for help in notifying us at the time of reporting a maintenance issue of any coronavirus symptoms in their  household as this will assist us in our planning. 

Our contractors are following all government guidelines and remain happy to undertake emergency works if required.

There will clearly be a lot of uncertainty over the rental payments that we are due to receive. We believe that many tenants will continue to pay in full but we do expect some tenants to reduce their payments and seek an agreement for a payment plan. All contact with you will be via email due to members of staff working from home, we will endeavour to keep you updated as much as possible but clearly there may be some delays.

Your cooperation and swift responses to any emails will be appreciated.

For your information, one of our local Councils has issued the following advice to tenants.

Retaining your current tenancy

During this period, you are required to continue to pay your rent, please note that any arrears will need to be paid however agents and landlords have been advised to work with tenants who may struggle to fulfil the rent each month. Paying as much as is affordable will ensure that your total arrears do not spiral out of control. Should you fall into financial hardship you will need to contact Universal Credit who can explore options with you. 

You can apply for universal credit by using the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim

Please contact your agent or landlord if you have any issues making your monthly rent payments due to any loss of income/work. It is important to be open and honest with them to prevent falling into unmanageable debt once the pandemic has passed. 

Debt and financial assistance

If you need any debt assistance citizens advice services are now running by telephone or online. Please see below contact details

Thanet: 01843 228642 / 0344 411 1444

Canterbury/Dover:0344 848 7978 / 01227 452762

Herne Bay area: 01227 760647

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Protection from Eviction

The Government has announced emergency legislation to do the following:

  • Stop any new possession claims (social and private tenancies) being issued at court for the next three months (at least).
     
  • This means: If your landlord has not already applied for court action, they will not be able to do so for at least 3 months. However it isimportant that you continue to search for alternative accommodation and pay your rent, this is only a temporary delay and possession of your property will be sought once normal business resumes.

We understand it is an anxious time for everyone, if required we will automatically extend your prevention duty by 3 months to continue to work with you. In the meantime please be patient with your housing officers, we are doing everything we can to continue to deliver our service and supply you with information as and when we have it.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Kind regards,

Simon Thompson
Miles & Barr – Managing Director of Lettings