We have provided some frequently asked questions which can be viewed below to further assist with any queries you may have. We will keep these updated and added to over the coming weeks.
Letting Agent FAQs
My tenant has contacted me to offer a payment plan with a reduced amount of rent for a period of time. An agreement is made with the landlord that the debt is to be re-paid over 6 months following the reduced rent period. Should I make a claim on my Rent Guarantee policy?
The government has set out its intention for landlords and tenants to reach an amicable and mutually agreeable solution to deal with any rent arrears. This could include deferral of all or part of the rent due for a period or a reduction in rent due.
This type of agreement is known as a rent deferral and must be confirmed in writing by both parties (this can be via email but should be between previously verified email addresses of each party). It should specify both the rent deferral itself in addition to the future payment plan. We would require evidence of the agreement should any Rent Guarantee claim be submitted for the property.
Any future claim should be submitted in accordance with the notification period detailed in your policy documentation. An example of which would be within 7 days of the arrears balance exceeding the equivalent of one month’s rent. The arrears being the amount of rent unpaid as per the deferral agreement.
My tenant and landlord agree a reduced amount for a period with no deferred amount. For example, the rent is reduced from £1000 to £800 for 3 months. Is this acceptable?
We would encourage this type of mediation wherever possible. Where a rent reduction is agreed with the landlord then this should be correctly documented through an addendum to the tenancy agreement, which is in line with legislation.
The rent guarantee policy will not cover the difference if the rent on the tenancy is reduced. However, in the event the tenant defaults on the rent then a claim can be made in accordance with the new documented agreement.
I have made a claim on my rent guarantee policy; however, the landlord does not wish to go ahead with legal proceedings to evict the tenant. Can my claim for rent still continue?
No – the Rent Guarantee claim is only accepted on the basis that legal proceedings to gain vacant possession will be issued to the tenant. If the landlord does not wish to proceed then a claim cannot continue and any rental benefit already paid out under the policy will be recovered from you the agent as the policyholder.
My tenant has contacted me to advise that they may find it difficult to pay the rent due to experiencing financial difficulty relating to the Coronavirus. What should I do?
You should contact the landlord to let them know of the tenant’s situation. Always attempt to enter discussions to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the tenant to try and reduce the amount of arrears a tenant could accrue. Do not refuse any reasonable offers by the tenant and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Please speak to us before taking any action which may prejudice future legal proceedings.
Please note that revised provisions, which are under discussion with the government, may mean that unless a meaningful attempt has been made to reach an agreement, possession orders may not be granted. Additionally sanctions in terms of cost awards maybe made against the Landlord.
My tenant has defaulted on the rent and I have attempted to contact the tenant and offered a payment plan but the tenant is not responsive and remains in the property (to the best of the agent’s knowledge).
In these circumstances you should submit your claim in the normal way. As part of your claim submission, you should also submit evidence of your attempts to contact the tenant and offer a payment plan.
Can I add Rent Guarantee to a reference that was completed when Rent Guarantee was not available?
No. We are currently only able to offer rent guarantee on new references submitted from 15:30 on Friday 27th March 2020 on new tenancies. We are unfortunately not able to offer currently on existing tenancies or references submitted prior to this date.
Why can you not have Rent Guarantee on a new tenancy where referencing was added prior to 15:30 on 27th March 2020?
There was a need to re-asses the risk on rent guarantee following the daily changes in government advice, proposed legislation and legal process during the Covid-19 crisis. It was a reasonable action to withdraw rent guarantee for this short period until we had a clearer picture of the risk going forward. Rent Guarantee is now under constant review.
When should I submit a claim – is it different with Covid-19?
No. Claims should continue to be submitted in accordance with the notification periods detailed in your policy documentation.
Can I still renew Rent Guarantee policies?
Yes, at present you can renew in the normal way.
Our Account Management Team is on-hand to support you and answer any questions you might have. So don't hesitate to get in touch.
We have enabled all our staff to be able to work remotely and they are here, as always to support you. Please however bear with us during the current period as our response times may take slightly longer than normal. Please also ensure you provide all the required details when contacting us as this will prevent delays in obtaining the relevant and necessary information.
The HomeLet Team
01522 838 535 | ACCOUNT.MANAGEMENT@HOMELET.CO.UK