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Back to longer lets

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Landlords who had previously switched to short-term lets – to take advantage of tourists’ demand for Airbnb-style accommodation – are now reverting to longer-term tenancies, reported Landlord Today on the 20th of March.

According to the article, the short-term market has seen a 20% drop in requests for accommodation. Landlords – and prospective tenants – now seem to be looking for longer-term security as the country enters a period of strict lockdown in the face of the coronavirus.

Both parties are also behaving with a degree of caution about face-to-face contacts and instead conduct interviews and property viewing via video links.

In a separate story, Landlord Today has also welcomed the government’s urging landlords to exercise care and flexibility in dealing with existing tenants who are currently facing financial difficulties.

The response follows government stepping in to assure tenants that they will not face eviction for at least three months if they are forced to default on rent payments because they are sick at home with suspected coronavirus or are looking after their sick children. For their part, landlords are also promised a 12-week period of grace if they are experiencing difficulties in making repayments on their buy to let mortgage.

Despite those assurances, however, opposition party critics insist that some of the nation’s 20 million tenants are still in danger of losing their homes. According to a story in the Guardian newspaper on the 24th of March, the government measures do not ban evictions for three months, but only extend the period of notice which must be given to tenants from two to three months.