Landlords have been tasked with urging tenants to keep their homes well ventilated this winter to combat the spread of Covid.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher (pictured) has issued advice to both private and social landlords which they should pass on to tenants, including the importance of letting fresh air into indoor spaces, part of the COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 which was published in the autumn.

It says this will not only help reduce transmission of the virus but will also reduce condensation, damp and mould.

“If you have responsibility as a landlord, whether in the social rented sector or private rental sector, we ask that you help us in our efforts to encourage behaviours to help combat the virus and cascade the message of the importance of good ventilation to your residents,” Pincher says in a letter sent to all landlords.

Rising costs

However, Pincher acknowledges: “We are aware that some residents will be reticent to ventilate their homes in the winter temperatures, especially in the current climate of rising fuel costs.”

For anyone having difficulty heating their homes, it asks landlords to share details about the Simple Energy Advice website and helpline, the Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel Payment, and also suggests tenants could talk to their energy supplier.

Window of opportunity

The letter includes key messages for tenants and a toolkit of materials, advising landlords that they need to make sure all rooms have functioning openable windows or functioning extractors.

The government suggests they should consider installing positive pressure or constant run ventilation systems to reduce the likelihood of condensation and to make sure tenants know how to operate ventilation and heating systems to achieve a “healthy and economic balance of heating, ventilation and moisture production within the home”.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Minister, Why are you so out of touch? LLs have been trying for years to get tenants to ventilate properties to prevent damp – what makes you think tenants will listen to us now? And with the price of heating soaring no-one is going to want to open a window until spring!

    • Dear Minister. Why do you think Tenants will listen to Landlords. Your changes over the years has allowed Tenants to treat the properties as if they own them. Landlords cannot even mention those kind if things now.

  2. “If you have responsibility as a landlord” – for advising tenants on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19? You must be joking.

    And maybe those parties at No 10 last year were really ok because the windows were open?

  3. Oh please, we try to get tenants to look after their homes, gardens and ventilate to prevent damp and they dont listen. Why would they listen to this. It just goes to show just how out of touch the government is with reality. Just laughable!

  4. Why does he only want to get his message across to tenants, why is he going through landlords, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to just make an announcement on TV to everyone? Far more people don’t live in private rentals than do.

  5. I presume they want landlords to give the advice as they know that nobody will listen to the government anymore. They really are beyond belief.

  6. So out of touch, positive pressure, constant run ventilation, get real, this would be classed as improvement and not tax deductible, and not possible in the majority of let properties, what a joke this lot are.

  7. Ha ha ha….

    Investors in the PRS got zero help from govt during lockdown. Govt legislation over the last few years has alienated investors now you want us to help out.

    So you want to poke me in the eye with a blunt stick and expect me to respond in a benevolent fashion.
    How about getting courts to evict non-payers???

    Errr… Thought not.

    • Indeed most LL would put up with an awful lot of hassle if they could get rid of feckless rent defaulting tenants after 45 days with NO requirement to use any County Court process.

      Unfortunately Govt is determined to protect feckless rent defaulting tenants.

      Such protection measures are unviable for LL who will as a consequence continue to exit the AST sector.

      There appears to be little understanding from Govt that preventing eviction causes LL to exit the AST sector.

      They seem to believe that LL will stay in the AST sector come what may.

      They will find that the AST is no longer a viable business model.

      There aren’t any other businesses which are forced by law to provide services effectively for free.
      This on the basis that ONLY by civil recovery methods may LL attempt to recover losses from the tenant.
      Every LL knows this is a waste of time which is why few LL bother with civil recovery efforts.

      Gradually the PRS will reduce in capacity.
      Those tenants not of the highest quality will find it increasingly difficult to source a mug LL prepared to take them on.

      I have now had a flat empty since September.

      It is cheaper to keep empty than risk taking on a low quality tenant.

      I’m selling up as the AST business model is no longer viable.

      Unfortunately as most LL experience it takes a fair while to get out of the PRS.

      This is will it will take about 5 years for LL who wish to sell or otherwise get out of the AST game to do so.

      It won’t be a cliff-edge thing though I’m not sure how LL will cope with their properties not complying with the forthcoming EPC requirements.

      Personally I want to be out of the game no later than 2022.

      Lots of horrible stuff coming down the track.

      S24 was the start and I’ve been trying to get out the game since then!!

      Hopefully like many other LL to be achieved no later than a tax year or so.

      There will come a point where even more will say

      Where have all the LL gone!?

      Councils are already raising this query.

      • The constant barrage of regulations on the PRS will result in an exodus.

        The system we have in place was purpose built in the 80’s because previous peace-meal regulations had crippled the PRS to the point of collapse. So a radical re-think was needed and put into place. For the most part it worked fine. Ending section 21 is the slippery slope back to the 1970’s.

        Govt clearly have learned nothing from the past.

        I’m in business, not a social worker or a charity. I invest where I get a decent rate of return with the lowest risk. As risk increases returns have to rise accordingly and if not the exodus will surely follow.

        Capital is a liquid asset that can be moved into any sector.

        The risk reward ratio’s in the PRS for many investors is now no longer sustainable.

        There is one almighty car crash coming soon…. The biggest losers will be tenants with huge rent rises and little availability.

        We will soon see where the real power lies in the landlord/tenant equation then.

        No govt can force me or any other investor to chose a particular sector to invest in. I put my money where I like!!!

        BOE have signalled a rise in interest rates heading back to more “Normal” levels…

        Once Building societies return to paying 5% interest on savings there will be almost zero reason to be in the PRS.

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