COVID-19: Update on Emergency Measures to Protect Residential Tenants.
Since 27th March 2020, emergency measures have been in place to protect tenants during the coronavirus emergency period. These measures have been extended to 1 August 2020.
During the emergency period:
1 – A tenant cannot be served with a notice of termination.
2 – If a tenant was served with a notice of termination before 27th March, the notice period is paused for the emergency period.
3 – A landlord cannot increase the rent, even if notice of the rent increase was served before 27th March.
Rent arrears during the emergency period:
A landlord may serve a warning notice if a tenant does not pay the rent that is due. The warning notice period has been extended from 14 days to 28 days. The landlord should give the tenant a reasonable amount of time to pay the rent that is owed. If the rent is still not paid within this time, the landlord may issue a notice of termination at the end of the emergency period.
If a landlord served the tenant with a notice of rent increase and it was due to come into effect during the emergency period, then the new rent takes effect from the first day after the emergency period ends.
Similarly, a landlord can serve a notice of rent review during the emergency period. The 90 days’ notice for a rent review can count down during the emergency period and if the 90 days’ notice falls after the emergency period is over, the tenant pays the increased amount as normal. However, if the end of the 90 days’ notice falls within the emergency period, the tenant will not be required to pay the new rental amount until the day after the emergency period is over.
Where a notice of termination was served prior to the Emergency Period, and specifies a termination date that falls during or after the Emergency Period, the termination date is deemed to be a revised termination date, which includes the addition of the Emergency Period.
Note: This guide is for information purposes only and as the laws change regularly, you should contact us for up to date advice.