The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has launched a new FAQ web page designed to help those involved in the private rental sector (PRS) navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The frequently asked questions cover pre-, mid- and post-tenancy provides advice to landlords, tenants and letting agents. It includes information as to whether a deposit can be used to cover the rent shortfall when a tenant is not earning enough to pay the full amount, and whether students that have left their accommodation to go back to family still have to pay rent.
Steve Harriott, group chief executive at TDS, said: “The coronavirus pandemic is affecting us all and, understandably, we have had many questions from tenants, landlords and agents over the past few days regarding how this could affect tenancy deposit protection.”
The TDS has found that in recent days they have been inundated with questions about rent reductions, and how this affects the deposit cap, which is limited to no more than 5 weeks’ rent in most cases. In response, they set up this web page to ensure that most questions can be answered without involving a member of their team.
They urge customers to visit the website frequently, which will be updated as the government’s advice changes, meaning that some answers may change rapidly.
Harriott continued: “As we receive further questions and advice from the government, we will do our best to continue providing answers and clarity on legal ramifications and tenancy processes during this period.”
He added: “We would like to stress that we are an impartial organisation and do not believe it is our place to give any advice beyond which is clearly stated by the government or law. It is ultimately up to the parties in the tenancy agreement as to how they wish to proceed in any given situation.
We hope the information we are providing on this web page provides a helpful foundation, and we wish all our customers and their families the very best of health during these unprecedented times.”
The FAQ page can be found here.