Coventry Landlord Newsletter - Issue October 2020

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Coventry Landlord

Coventry Landlord Newsletter - Issue October 2020

In this issue:


Let’s Rent Coventry scheme is looking for private landlords with properties to let

Let's Rent

Let’s Rent Coventry, is a rent guarantee scheme for Coventry, working in collaboration with private landlords across the city. It matches people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, with landlords who have properties to let.

To date we have successfully matched 12 households with private landlords supporting both customers and landlords from enquiry to letting and beyond, all households receive support and assistance to set up rent payments and we’re receiving daily enquires from new landlords looking to join the scheme.   

We offer guaranteed rent and other benefits to private sector landlords who want to work with the Council by providing tenancies in order to alleviate homelessness in the city. This includes a payment of up to 5 weeks rent as a deposit.

If you are interested, there is more information available on the Let's Rent website  or alternatively, contact

Licensing update

Although HMO Licensing inspections were significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to process HMO applications online. A number of new staff have been employed in response to the 2018 licence changes and the more recent Additional LicensingScheme. This has enabled applications to be processed more quickly and licence inspections are progressing well. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, no enforcement action was being taken against unlicensed HMOs falling under the Additional Licensing Scheme until 4 November 2020, which is 3 months from when the Government significantly eased lockdown restrictions.  

This grace period will soon be coming to an end thus, it is vitally important that landlords have submitted their HMO licence applications before this date to avoid possible enforcement action.

Enforcement update

We recognise that the majority of landlords do a good job and are fully compliant, however there are still many that continue to flout the law. In 2019 and in the early part of this year, 24 people were issued with civil penalties for either failing to apply for a mandatory licence or breaches of the management regulations. This has resulted in fines totalling approximately £150,000.

The Property Licensing Team will continue with its proactive enforcement work as we endeavour to create a level playing field for those landlords who do provide safe, well manged and fully compliant properties.    

If you are concerned about a property you think is unlicensed or have a query or difficulty with regards to your own HMO, please visit our website.

HMO amenities and facilities guide

The Council will be replacing its current Amenities and Facilities Guide (IGGY) with a new document. The new guide will reflect some of the most recent changes to legislation, such as minimum room sizes and electrical safety, but will retain existing information in terms the facilities required within HMOs.    

Rules for electrical safety in privately rented properties

New legislation, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, has now come into effect. This means that landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person. 

The Regulations also state that a landlord is required to obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test and supply a copy to each tenant within 28 days.  A copy must be retained until the next inspection is due.  

These requirements apply to all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies. This applies to all privately rented properties, not just HMOs 

The Regulations require local housing authorities to enforce the rules and they have the power to arrange remedial action and proven breaches of the Regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000. 


Current possession proceedings as amended by Coronavirus Act 2020

Section 8 notices  

Under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, a notice seeking possession which was given to a tenant from 26 March to 28 August 2020 must have provided them with a notice period of at least 3 months. 

These provisions have now been extended, meaning that a notice seeking possession which is given to a tenant from 29 August 2020 until at least 31 March 2021 must provide a notice period of at least 6 months in most circumstances. However, there are exceptions to this in some instances: 

For notices in relation to anti-social behaviour, rioting and false statement, the required notice periods have returned to their pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 lengths. In some cases, this means that proceedings for anti-social behaviour can be brought immediately. Notice periods on these grounds otherwise vary, depending on the type of tenancy and ground used, between 2 weeks and 1 month. 

Where at least 6 months of rent is unpaid, a minimum 4-week notice period will be required. If less than 6 months of rent is unpaid, then the notice period is 6 months. 

Where a tenant has passed away or is in breach of immigration rules and does not have a right to rent a property in the United Kingdom then a minimum 3-month notice period is usually required. 

If a landlord wishes to serve a new notice in order to take advantage of the new shorter notice periods required for certain serious cases, they should, where they are issuing a new notice of the same type, withdraw the first notice before they serve a new notice. 

Section 21 notices  

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), from 26 March 2020 to 28 August 2020 the minimum Section 21 notice period that you can give to your assured shorthold tenants was 3 months. From 29 August 2020 until at least 31 March 2021 the minimum notice period you can give your assured shorthold tenants is 6 months.

That means that there must be at least 6 months between the date your tenant receives the notice, and the date after which you specify, they must leave the property. You can make a claim for possession in the county court if the tenant has not left by the date specified in the notice. However, if you have agreed with a tenant that a longer notice period will be given, for example if there is a written tenancy agreement that provides for a longer period of notice, that longer period will apply. 

Landlords may find it helpful to seek independent legal advice regarding these matters. 

Read more about the possession action process and guidance.

Landlord Forum

Our next landlord’s forum will take place on 3 November at 6pm via a live webinar where we will be giving an update on the new legislation covering the Electrical Safety Regulations, we introduce the new Amenities and Facilities Guide and a member of the Council’s Homeless Prevention Team will talk about their Let’s Rent scheme.    

If you are interested in joining the webinar, then please register. We are looking to host around 150 people on a first come first served basis.

Don’t worry if you can’t log on to the webinar as we will be recording the session so it can be watched at a later date.  

Contact us

We want to work with you to improve housing in the city. If you want to get in touch with any questions please, contact the team:


Telephone: 024 7697 5467