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Whilst these are uncertain times, we want to reassure you, we are still here to help.

The health and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and communities is of utmost importance to us and whilst these are uncertain times, we want to reassure you, we are here for you.

We have been supporting landlords and tenants for many years and continue to do so through these changing times.

We are prepared to continue to service you in the coming weeks, we would be pleased to discuss your situation and adjust how we work with you in the current circumstances. Currently, the best way of contacting us is via email or through your local branch.

Landlord FAQs

  • Will your offices be working during the national lockdown? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    England

    Yes - We will be working as usual between Thursday November 5th and Wednesday December 2nd.  Our colleagues remain available with viewings and market appraisals still possible subject to a number of enhanced controls.  If visiting one of our offices please let us know in advance so that we know when to expect you.  Please remember to wear your face covering.

    Scotland

    Yes - We have now opened the majority of our High Street branches across all protection levels in Scotland with Government guidelines designed to protect our colleagues and customers. Please contact us by telephone or email before visiting to check we are open and that a colleague will be available. Where your preferred office is yet to reopen we are covering appointments remotely.   Please remember that you are now required to wear a face covering whilst visiting our offices. 

    People can move home in all protection levels including between areas with different levels.  This includes visiting estate or letting agents, developers sales offices and show homes.

    Wales

    Yes – Our High Street branches reopened when circuit breaker restrictions ended on November 9th.  Please contact us by telephone or email before visiting to check that a colleague will be available.  Please remember to wear a face-covering whilst visiting our branches.  You will also be able to check-in using the NHS COVID-19 App.  We will request your details for Track & Trace purposes.    

  • Is it possible to have a market appraisal on my property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes, and your safety and that of any incumbent tenants is our first priority. That is why; however you would like us to carry out a Valuation we have the tools to help you. We can visit your property to carry out a safe and socially distant valuation, but we also recognise that for some Landlords you may not want an agent in your property. We can still offer you an accurate valuation remotely based on the latest market conditions. Please use the “Get a free valuation” icon on our website or contact your local branch, we are here to help, however, you want to move forward.

  • Is my property still being marketed for let? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    This is one of the things that  has not changed significantly. We will make sure that your property appears on all of the property portals, Rightmove, Zoopla, and Prime Location. Your property will also appear on our Websites. Remember that 90% of people start their house search online and with more people at home this may well increase. We still have new tenants registering with us every day and we are carrying out viewings in a safe and socially distant way at the property and virtually where we cannot facilitate this.

  • Are tenants still looking to rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes –We are helping to safely rehouse tenants in rising numbers. 

  • Can potential tenants view my property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Virtual viewings should be used whenever possible to help limit the number of viewings you need to arrange. Prior to the appointment we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe. It is not possible to view property in Wales whilst fire breaker restrictions remain in force.  

    In England revised guidance relating to the lockdown between November 5th and December 2nd  includes: 

    1. Adherence to social distancing rules
    2. Wearing PPE e.g. face coverings
    3. Occupiers leaving the property during a viewing
    4. Viewings should be limited to 15 minutes
    5. No more than 2 households should be present, with the agent counting as one household.
    6. As few people as possible should be at the property.       
  • Will the pandemic affect rental values? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Likely impact to the UK's housing market is as yet unknown. We continue to monitor activity within the lettings sector to and keep our clients as fully informed as possible.

  • When my property is let can I still take out Rent & Legal Protection (RLP) insurance through you. Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Not at present. – Sales of RLP policies through our offices have been suspended whilst the policy underwriter assesses under what conditions the product can be re-introduced.  This approach mirrors that seen across a number of insurance products in the market.

    We are hopeful that sales will recommence soon. Please contact your local branch for further information.  

  • Does my tenant need to continue paying my rent during the outbreak? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Rent remains payable. There is no automatic suspension of rental payments during the Pandemic.

  • What if my tenant can’t afford to pay rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    We have advised tenants that if they are having trouble paying rent then they should discuss this with you as soon as possible. Where payments are made to us, your tenant has been advised to Chat with us on our website or by emailing creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk. If you would like to speak with someone, please contact your local property management team.

  • Am I under an obligation to help if my tenant is having trouble paying rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes –  Government has confirmed that: ”landlords and tenants should work together and exhaust all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account a tenant’s individual circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort”. 

  • What kind of help can landlords provide if their tenant is having trouble paying the rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    This will understandably depend on the landlord's personal circumstances but there is an expectation from govt. that landlords will, where possible, agree to payment plans. In agreeing to a payment plan rent is not waived but delayed by an agreed amount for a set period of time. The balance is either repaid on an agreed date or spread over the remaining period of the tenancy. An unreasonable failure to do so could prejudice a landlords’ ability to gain possession.

  • I have a Rent & Legal Protection policy. Can I claim during the pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    You should defer to your cover provider to establish details of any restrictions applicable to your policy as a result of the current crisis. If you have arranged cover through us then please email rlp@countrywide.co.uk.

  • Can I evict my tenant during the pandemic? - England & Wales Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes –   The stay on possession proceedings ended on September 20th. Proceedings involving excessive rent arrears and anti-social behaviour are being prioritised.  (See advice below on Bailiff Evictions)    

    In England notice under Sections 21 and S8 of the Housing Act has been extended to 6 months until March 31st 2020.  A number of exceptions apply, including reducing the notice period to 4 weeks under Section 8 where a tenant is more than 6 months in arrears.  Please ask your local branch for further information.    

    Notice periods in Wales remain at 6 months

    Bailiff Evictions - England

    There is a ban on evictions until January 11th 2021 in all but the most extreme of circumstances.  These include where 9 months of rent arrears accrued before March 23rd 2020.  Arrears accrued after March 23rd 2020 whilst still payable are disregarded in respect of the 9-month threshold.

    Bailiff Evictions - Wales

    As in England, a pause has been agreed with bailiffs which starts in December and ends on January 11th at the earliest.      

  • Can I evict my tenant during the crisis? – Scotland Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    No – A ban on evictions remains in place until March 2021.

  • Can my tenants give notice? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Your tenants can give notice by emailing terminations@countrywide.co.uk. When we have received their notice, we will contact you to let you know.

  • Is your property management department open? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Supporting tenants and landlords in the properties we manage remains a priority. Landlords and tenants can contact us on the usual property management telephone number.

  • What about undertaking property repairs? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The easiest way for tenants to report repairs is through our website. They will also receive helpful advice on what to do in an emergency. Our property management centres work with an extensive bank of contractors. At the date of this update, most are working as normal and therefore able to undertake essential maintenance and safety inspections.

  • What about contractors accessing the property during the pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    With properties managed by us, the contractor will call the tenant directly to arrange access to help ensure the safety of all concerned. Tenants should advise them of any self-isolation or illness within the household. When providing access, social distancing protocols should are observed. If the tenant is transferring keys they should do so in a secure envelope ensuring they are sanitised before and after use.  Where keys are held at our local office they can be collected by the contractor by prior appointment.

  • What if the Gas Safety Record needs to be renewed during the pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Where the property is managed by us, we are reminding tenants that renewal of the annual Gas Safety Record is an important part of keeping them safe in their home. Government has confirmed that tenants should, where it is safe to do so, allow access for inspections to take place.

  • What if my tenant is self-isolating or refuses access to the property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Your tenant should where reasonable and safe, continue to allow access for repairs and safety inspections. If access is refused then efforts to undertake repairs and carry out safety inspections should be carefully documented and regularly followed up until the work has been completed.

  • Are you still doing property inspections? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Subject to local lockdown restrictions we have recommenced our usual cycle of routine property inspections. Inspections in England  during the November 5th to December 2nd lockdown will be prioritised and kept to a minimum. As we work through the inevitable backlog created by COVID-19 restrictions please do not hesitate to contact your property manager if you have any individual concerns.   

  • Will you keep me updated on any changes relating to the crisis? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    We update these FAQs in line with government announcements. You can also visit www.gov.uk/coronaviruswww.gov.scot and www.gov.wales for updates.