IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TENANTS
Updated 27/03/2020

Dear Tenants

We understand you will be finding it a worrying time at present. At Midwinter Koval we want to reassure our tenants that we are here to support you.

Clearly, first and foremost, you will be anxious about your own health and that of your family and we urge you to follow the recommendations laid out by the Government in combating the spread of Coronavirus to ensure you stay safe and healthy.

We have had a number of phone calls regarding a number of issues with people worried about rent payments, what happens if there is a repair, what happens if they are due to move from or to a property, or simply how to contact us during the lock down. Please click on a section below for more clarification.

Finally, we truly hope that you get through this period unscathed. We will all need to work together during this difficult time and even more so, once we are through the other side. Thank you.

Andrew Koval

Andrew Koval & Sarah Midwinter.


Useful links:-

> Government Guidance for Households
> NDDC Tax Reduction or Exceptional Hardship Schemes Official Page
> Torridge District Council Coronavirus Page
> Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

 

  • RENT

    Initially last week, when the Government announced changes to Legislation to prevent evictions for rent arrears in the next 3 months, there appeared to be a misunderstanding from some people that the term "Rent Holiday" meant that tenants did not have to actually pay their rent. This is absolutely not the case! The obligation for you to pay your rent on the due date remains unchanged. Therefore, whilst you continue to have full employment or currently receive housing benefit, there is no reason why you shouldn't pay, as usual and on time.

    At that time, many people were worried about their jobs and clearly things have moved on significantly during the week with the Government announcing various measures to help including those on PAYE receiving 80% of the pay (up to £2,500 max), if they are furloughed from work and temporary changes to make it easier to apply for Statutory Sick Pay and Universal Credit, for those no longer working or sick (further details can be found here https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/).

    The Government announced yesterday, its package for self-employed people. We are still waiting for the full details, but it would appear that the grants will not be paid until the end of May or even June (although back dated). We therefore urge you to look into any other benefits or help you can get in the meantime.

    If the above is true, then there is no reason why, going forward, tenants who have been sent home from work or who are unable to work, cannot pay the majority of the rent each month, if not the full amount, when due.

    Inevitably there will be a delay in getting these schemes up and running, so any tenants that may have a problem paying their rent on the 1st April should contact us immediately, otherwise we will attempt to take any direct debits already set up.

    What happens if the whole rent or some of the rent cannot be paid on time? In this instance, the rent (or part of the rent) can be deferred until you are able to obtain any benefits that you might be eligible for, or your employment returns to previous levels. It is important that you understand that rent is still payable, and you will be responsible for making and sticking to a reasonable re-payment plan.

    Obviously, we realise that we are entering unchartered territory with Coronavirus, but we urge you wherever possible not to let your rental debt become unmanageable or unrecoverable. Any payment that you can make (however small) will help lessen difficulties down the line, when we are all trying to find our feet.

    For those tenants that have always paid their top up or rent by cash in the office, please note that we are able to take a card payment over the phone.

    Please note that there are various schemes offered by the local authorities to assist people, who might be having financial hardship/difficulties. Please check our website for the various links.

  • REPAIRS

    Wherever possible, you should continue to log any repairs with us via the PropertyFile App. For those who have not yet downloaded it, please contact us with an up to date email so that we can send you the instructions. The App allows you to also send in photographs of the issue, which we find very useful. The Government have made it clear that only emergency repairs/maintenance can be carried out at present. We will obviously get a contractor to you as soon as we are able for non-emergency issues.

    For those that do not have the appropriate technology, please email info@midwinterkoval.co.uk in the first instance or last resort, ring the office.

    Below are various useful numbers in case of an emergency. Please note that you should only organise repairs yourself if it is an absolute emergency and you have not been able to get hold of us (you may be charged, if the issue is deemed not to be).

  • VACATING A PROPERTY

    Some of you are due to leave your rented property in the coming days/weeks/months. Current guidelines are that you should only move house, if it absolutely necessary. Therefore, please contact us at the earliest opportunity (either by phone or email), if your plans are going to change. We will try to speak to you, in any case.

  • MOVING INTO A PROPERTY

    Similarly, to above, you should only move if you absolutely have to. We will be contacting you to confirm that we have had the necessary references, how to make payment and the procedure for signing the tenancy agreements and picking up keys.

  • ELECTRIC CARDS

    For those tenants that purchase electric cards from the office, we made arrangements for you all to receive free £25 worth of cards, as lock down was announced, in case of emergency. Please monitor your usage and contact us as soon as you start to get low. Please bear in mind that with lock down, in all reality, it will be at last 48 hours before you receive the new cards. The new cards will need to be paid for, over the phone, prior to being delivered/sent.

  • SHARED HOUSES/FLATS/BEDSITS

    If you live in one of our shared houses, block of flats or bedsits, please note that the regular communal cleaning is suspended until further notice. As the majority of you will be in lock down, we would appreciate it, if you could carry out some cleaning yourself.

    It is absolutely important that when living in a shared house or building with shared amenities such as kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, shower rooms and wc's, you take all the precautions necessary, such as washing hands, keeping the correct distance from your housemates and if you feel poorly, informing your housemates to warn them and isolating yourself to prevent others getting ill.

    Please note that you cannot invite anyone from outside the property to visit you during lock down! We will take a dim view on anyone flouting this rule and putting others at jeopardy!

  • OFFICE HOURS

    For the foreseeable future, the offices with be manned between 12pm and 2pm weekdays, and 11am to 12pm on Saturdays, if it is imperative that you speak to someone (we will keep our website updated with our current hours) However, PropertyFile logs and emails are constantly monitored, so if you should always try these if you cannot get through during those times.