Unipol release guidance for students and private landlords


13th January 2021

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Unipol have released advice and information to landlords and tenants to support them through the renewed full lockdown.

Published on their website, the document outlines what the government has said about returning tenants and the obligations of landlords as well as giving further advice on the subject.

It maintains that, as per government guidance, tenants should continue to pay rent to private landlords.

The guidance says: “It is important for landlords to be flexible and have a frank and open conversation with their tenants at the earliest opportunity, to allow both parties to agree a sensible way forward."

Although some student accommodations have offered rent reductions, there is no requirement for landlords or accommodation providers to offer reduced rent.

Due to circumstances caused by the pandemic, some students may be able to claim universal credit under exceptional circumstances if additional help might be needed with funds.

Guidance issued on June 2020 remains unchanged for the current lockdown. Last year the government said: “We encourage landlords, letting agencies and tenants to adopt an understanding, common-sense approach to issues that may arise in the current circumstances.”

Unipol have also said that they expect houses to be let at a more gradual pace than usual, with many students unsure of what they want to do given the uncertain climate.

Viewings can continue with additional measures in place; however, some tenants may be uncomfortable with physical viewings, especially if they are in a high risk group.

Remote viewings are therefore encouraged. Landlords and agencies could get videographers to do 3D virtual tours of their houses or ask tenants themselves to take a video tour with their phone.

Unipol has also advised that landlords and agencies could do a live-stream video of a property.

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