We are truly living in unique times but what has become very apparent is peoples’ desire to help one another. This is heart-warming to see and can be adopted by us all. Here a few tips to help landlords overcome any potential challenges.
Keep the lines of communication open
Hopefully you already have a good relationship with your tenant. If you don’t, now’s the time to start. If you haven’t already contacted them about the Coronavirus, do so now. Send them the latest Government advice and the NHS Stay at home advice, and ask them to notify you if they fall ill. That way you can take appropriate measures if, for example, a tradesperson is due to carry out works on the property (you’ll have to re-schedule).
With some businesses asking staff to take leave without pay and others shutting shop altogether, incomes are set to take a hit. This means some tenants will fall into rent arrears. If your tenant is struggling, don’t act in haste. If they have no previous history of arrears, it may be worth coming to an alternative arrangement. In hard times, you may struggle to find another good tenant promptly – especially if we end up in an Italy-style lockdown. Being flexible and compassionate may be the better business decision in the long run. If you’re uncertain, give us a call for expert advice.
In times like these, the Scouts’ motto ‘Be Prepared’ is as good as any to go by. Take time to think through all potential scenarios and start planning. If a tenant tells you that they’re self-isolating, what will you do? If a tenancy is ending in the next few weeks, will the tenant be able to move out? And if you come down with the virus, who will manage your property? The point of the exercise is not to freak yourself out but be ready for all eventualities.
Keep up to date
With things changing daily, stay abreast of the latest advice from official sources. Follow all Government and NHS announcements and watch what the banks are saying. We will regularly be communicating with our landlords and tenants.
If you feel your anxiety levels rising, ask yourself this: What would hitting the panic button achieve? By keeping as cool as possible, you’ll be able to make level-headed decisions. And remember, you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself. If you need advice, we’re here for you. We are continually talking to landlords across the Bracknell area in similar situations and our friendly team are only too happy to share our insights.
If you’d like more advice about lettings and Coronavirus contact us on 01344 860121. We will help guide you through the situation and come out the other side of this testing but temporary time stronger and wiser.
New update – 26/03/2010: Six ways Landlords can find out more about the Coronavirus outbreak