The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No2) Regulations 2020 came into force today.
What are the Health Protection Regulations 2020?
The Health Protection Regulations 2020 implement the changes that have been announced over the past few days, but with greater clarity. The regulations are a fairly easy read so if you want to know what can and can’t be done under lockdown restrictions then the regulations should be your first source.
How do the Health Protection Regulations affect social housing?
For social landlords, the interesting part is the list of reasonable excuses for leaving where you live has been amended. To undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property:
- visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes.
- viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent.
- preparing a residential property to move in.
- moving home.
- visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.
Previously, the regulations stated that you could move house where reasonably necessary which, for many on the housing list, would mean that they could move if they had a property to move into. These new regulations are wider and, in our view, enable a landlord to:
- carry out void work and other non-essential work where required to enable the property to be let.
- allow non-essential moves to go ahead including mutual exchanges and management moves.
- show prospective tenants a prospective home.
Of course, all the above is subject to the guidance on social distancing but those acting for landlords may meet up with tenants and their families where “reasonably necessary” to facilitate a house move.
Essentially, the measures appear to have been introduced to get the UK housing market moving again. They would not apply where the tenant is not moving home so, for example, it does not enable disrepair surveyors to enter and inspect a tenant’s property – this would not be a reasonable excuse.
Update 14 May 2020
The Government has released Non Statutory Guidance following the amendments to the Coronavirus Regulations yesterday. The new Guidance is here.
The Guidance covers specific advice to various industries including social landlord, private landlords and letting agents as well as guidance around the Right to Buy process.
Find out more
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