Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to introduce a process to amend or override specified rents in Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements if landlords and tenants agree a temporary reduction in rent in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Holding answer received on 24 March 2020

No change is being made to the basic contractual position of the tenant remaining liable for rent for the whole period of the fixed term of a tenancy agreement. However, depending on the contractual provisions of the tenancy agreement, during the fixed term of a tenancy a break clause in the tenancy agreement may be effected to bring that fixed term period to an end. A new tenancy could then be agreed between both landlord and tenant on different terms, including the specified amount of rent lawfully due.

If the fixed terms of an assured shorthold tenancy have expired, and the tenancy is a statutory periodic tenancy, the terms of the tenancy agreement can be modified where mutually agreed by a landlord and a tenant and confirmed in writing.

Any landlord wishing to modify a tenancy agreement with a tenant should seek legal advice in the first instance.

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