The government has clarified the approach landlords and letting agents should take towards self-isolating tenants who are due to move out of a property.
In response to a written question from Labour MP Steve McCabe, Junior Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said it had strongly urged accommodation providers to be flexible in extending tenancies and delaying moves if tenants were isolating due to Covid.
He added: “However, under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) if someone is legally obliged to move, they are allowed to do so even if isolating.”
It follows a BBC news report about students who were due to leave their accommodation when one tested positive meaning that she and three housemates were legally obliged to self-isolate.
Break the rules
With their tenancy agreement coming to an end, they decided to break the rules to move back home as their landlord was going to charge a month’s rent, a 30-day cancellation notice fee and the upkeep of the next tenants – which would have cost thousands.
A government spokeswoman told the BBC that students who are required to self-isolate should seek to delay their move with support from their university.
It added: “We strongly urge accommodation providers and private landlords to come to amicable agreements with students, and to change move dates to ensure students are able to complete their self-isolation periods.”
The National Residential Landlords Association says landlords must respect the required isolation period during which households should not move. A spokesman tells LandlordZONE: “We also encourage landlords to show as much flexibility as possible to support their tenants and help efforts to halt the spread of the virus.”