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Coronavirus: updated guidance for landlords and tenants 30/03/2020 Labelled as Legislation, Regulation, Tenants

Coronavirus: updated guidance for landlords and tenants


The government has published updated guidance for landlords and tenants in both the private and social housing sectors setting out their responsibilities and rights during the coronavirus outbreak.


Guidance for landlords and tenants


The guidance for landlords and renters in private and social housing published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) on 28 March builds on the previous announcement of the suspension of eviction and possession proceedings and explains: 


  • Measures relating to service of notices seeking possession as amended by the Coronavirus Act 2020;  
  • Court action on possession cases during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak; and 
  • Property access and health and safety obligations in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions - including guidance on gas and electrical safety inspections. 


Many councils have been concerned about ensuring that annual gas safety checks are carried out during the crisis and equally some tenants have understandably been reluctant to allow gas safety engineers into their homes to carry out those safety checks - particularly if they are self-isolating and/or have members of the household who have underlying health conditions and have been recommended to stay in doors for the next 12 weeks.


Paragraph 3.9 of the guidance makes it clear that landlords should continue to make every effort to abide by existing gas safety regulations and electrical safety regulations which come into force on 1 July but points out that there are provisions in both regulations to account for situations in which a landlord cannot do this but that landlords must be able to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations.


The full Guidance is available for download on the Government website.


The document also includes guidance to advise local authorities in England how to effectively enforce standards in private rented properties (including housing associations), meet their legal duties and support landlords and tenants during the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.   


Building Safety guidance


MHCLG have also updated and published the latest Building Safety guidance, in light of the coronavirus outbreak, including revised guidance from the National Fire Chief's Council on waking watches for high rise buildings with unsafe cladding within the context of the coronavirus pandemic, full details of which are also available on the government website.


ARCH is in regular contact with MHCLG officials during the coronavirus crisis and if any ARCH member council feels there are any key issues not covered by this latest guidance and/or has any queries regarding the detail of this latest guidance please let ARCH know by contacting John Bibby at

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