A Landlord's Guide to Covid-19

23 October 2020 Melanie Lyford Read time: 3 min
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Melanie Lyford

With a second wave seemingly imminent and parts of the country going into different tiers of lockdown, landlords up and down the country have to adapt accordingly. That means finding different ways to do viewings, understanding what some renters may be going through financially and keeping up with an ever-changing market.

If you’re currently a landlord, hopefully, your tenancies are running smoothly. But we thought it would be a good idea to bring you this handy guide about landlording during a pandemic. So read on and find out everything you need to know about being a landlord in a world of coronavirus. 

A stamp duty holiday for investors

If you’re thinking about purchasing another buy-to-let property, now could be the best time to pounce. The stamp duty holiday announced in July runs until March 2021, so there’s still time to make the most of it and save some money on your property purchase.

Stamp duty holiday for landlords

Property investors don’t get the same discounts as first-time buyers and those moving from one home to another, but you can still expect to save some money. For example, a property bought for £350k under the previous stamp duty would cost £18,000 in duty. Under the holiday discounts, you would only pay £10,500, which is a £7.5k saving.

A more flexible rental market?

With lockdown restrictions changing daily, an increasing number of people are turning to the rental market for their next home. It offers more flexibility than the sales market, meaning people can potentially move in the short term before thinking about their longer-term prospects when things settle down.

As a landlord, you’re in a great position to attract a larger pool of renters and make use of your property on both the short and long-term lettings market. The current climate calls for flexibility, and being open to different types of rentals could also see your void periods decrease.

Keep up to date

Legislation is changing faster than usual in the current climate; therefore it's vital that you keep up with the latest news. The Government put in place a ban on evictions to protect renters that have fallen on hard times. And the minimum notice period has also been extended from three to six months.

There are also mortgage payment holidays for landlords if they need them. While unrelated to Covid, other legislation has come, such as the need for a Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before renting out your property. 

Be a communicative landlord

Both landlords and renters find themselves in a tricky position at the moment. The Covid pandemic has plunged the UK into a recession, and people are feeling the pinch. If your renter hasn’t paid the rent, try opening a line of communication first and be empathetic to their issue.

Landlord communicating during Covid

Of course, the ban on evictions doesn’t mean renters can simply stop paying rent. And in most cases, they want to keep up to date with payments. If you find that your renter is struggling to make payments, however, try setting up a payment plan and ensuring you both have an open line of communication with each other.

Prepare for viewings

Social distancing is required for all viewings, with many renters preferring to view a property via video. You can safeguard your property against the current conditions by offering video walkthroughs and letting renters see your home without physically visiting it.

With Movebubble, renters can find, view and secure their home. Our 700,00-plus renters use the app to search for a property before viewing a video walkthrough. Then, if they like what they see, they can secure the home with an instant booking. It takes away much of the fuss and reduces plenty of stress in the current cliamte we find ourselves in.

Pandemic-proof landlords

Everything may seem a little uncertain right now, but there is a crumb of comfort for landlords. Demand for rental homes is still high, and you can ensure that you’re ready to let your property by being flexible, up to date on trends, communicating regularly with renters and taking advantage of video viewings.

If you’re looking for more insights, check out our landlord hub, which has plenty of helpful resources on everything from tax to buy-to-let hotspots. Then why not give us a call and see how advertising your property on Movebubble can help you find renters faster while avoiding any of the issues around Covid?

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