How to address wrong or the lack of rental information in the Age of Coronavirus
This week, we are dealing with information that home seekers may need to know before they agree to sign up a tenancy agreement. This week’s activity is the continuation of appended and punitive terms from our last week.
The main goal of this week’s activity
The overall goal of this week’s activity is to protect home seekers from unfair terms and rental misinformation. It is also to avoid the coronavirus rental misinformation.
For example, at this continuing time of the coronavirus there could be misinformation and the traffic of wrong terms. One may need to understand these terms and their implications for tenancy (such as a rent concession letter related to the coronavirus from a landlord/lady to a tenant). In the case of the letter, to avoid misunderstanding tenants need to know that this letter is a temporary waiver not a permanent situation to the lease.
The objectives of this week’s session
To achieve the above central goal, the week’s session has the following objectives:
√ Ensure clarity and fairness for both contractual parties, especially but not exclusively for the vulnerable and misinformed home seekers or renters
√ Avoid rental poverty trap in a tenancy that one party has never understood its implications from the beginning, yet they signed it
√ Source out ways of getting out from unknowingly agreed unfair terms
√ Ways of dealing with the issue of financial payments related to unfair terms
√ Briefly, addressing the wrong rental information or lack of fair rental information
Doing your own research before renting a property
It is necessary and sometimes compulsory that home seekers do their own research before renting a property. It is equally fair that the other party (or their representative) in the agreement provides prescribed required information (e.g. information related to the Section 21 form if an assured shorthold tenancy agreement will be used) before home applicants sign up an agreement. There are statutory and non-statutory information that both parties should be aware of, including any change in the law or rental practice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic or any other events.
For example, the law requires to the landlord/lady to provide to their incoming tenants an up to date version of the ‘How to rent’ booklet. Landlords/ladies are also required to provide a new copy at the outset of any subsequent tenancy, including statutory periodic tenancies, but only if there has been an update to the booklet. If they do not then no valid Section 21 can be served. However, with the coronavirus the landlord/lady needs to verify if these legal requirements have changed, especially as documents or print mail transmitted may be quarantined as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus. The landlord/lady has as well to check if this information can be passed on to the tenants via online or digitally (e.g. a website address link to ‘How to rent’ booklet).
How this week’s activity will be helpful for home seekers
This week’s activity, which is for the home seekers, will help them in the following ways:
√ Understand what they are agreeing on
√ Avoid rental misinformation and COVID-19 misinformation
√ Understand the terms and conditions of their current and future tenancy agreements
√ Beware of fair and unfair terms and take action on unfair terms
√ Know their consumer protection rights
√ Uncover ‘mis-renting’ terms and expressions
√ Be informed about any new rental terms related to the coronavirus situation
You can e-work with Home Relief on fair rental information as Help to Rent is available to all home seekers.
Need help to address rental misinformation, why not e-work with Home Relief?
If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.