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COVID-19: If you rent a property or are a landlord in Crawley you need to read this now

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The government has released a package of measures to protect renters and landlords that are affected by the coronavirus.

It states that no renter that is in either social or private accommodation can be forced out of their home during the crisis.

Emergency legislation is being taken forward that will mean landlords are not able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period.

The news will give some relief to renters in both sectors who are worried about an eviction threat.

But for landlords this could also be a worry with no income from their properties. To alleviate this worry the government has said that the three month mortgage payment holiday is to be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus. It is hoped by giving the landlords this three month payment holiday that it will ease their financial concerns as well.

Once the three month period is completed both tenants and landlords are asked to work together to ‘establish an affordable repayment plan’ and should take into account the tenants individual circustances.

It’s also been announced that new guidance is being drafted and issued that will ask landlords to show compassion to allow tenants to remain in their homes wherever possible including widening the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, (essentially meaning landlords and tenants must work together to resolve disputes and landlords must reach out to their tenants to understand the financial position they are in).

All this guidance is to ensure that both tenants and landlords work together and understand that the problem faced is universal and is affecting both.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said:

“The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.

These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.

These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords association said: 

“Landlord groups welcomes government support. We recognise the exceptional circumstances and we will work collaboratively with government to ensure these measures protect both landlords and tenants.”

Coronavirus

Powerful viruscide used across Southern Rails stations and trains to kill Coronavirus

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Govia Thameslink Railway’s entire fleet of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express trains, plus stations and staff areas have been treated with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing the Coronavirus for up to 30 days.

The product further improves GTR’s already-enhanced cleaning regime, in which stations and staff areas are treated with more short-term viruscides, and all 2,700 of its train carriages are sanitised every night.

While the current advice remains to only use public transport if you absolutely have to, the product provides another layer of protection for passengers who do need to travel such as key workers and staff who are valiantly supporting the national effort on the front line.

To help support everyone’s focus on keeping their hands clean, GTR has also ordered 1,000 no-touch hand sanitisers for staff and passengers which are being distributed to stations. 

A specially-developed app also tells staff at-a-glance when each train carriage was last cleaned with the long-lasting viruscide.

Engineering Director Steve Lammin said:

“Since the outbreak of this pandemic we have been doing all we can to protect our passengers and staff by ensuring our trains, and stations have enhanced cleaning regimes, and a switch in focus to high-touch areas and the increased use of anti-viral agents.

“We are now using a product that will kill Coronavirus for up to 30 days and we are applying this to surfaces across our network on a 21-day cycle. We want to do everything possible to work with passengers and staff to keep them safe and this will further protect everyone who is working so hard for this country.”

Electrostatic ‘wands’ (pictured and on video) have been used around stations and staff areas and GTR is deploying ‘Storm’ virus-killer backpacks which were used in NHS Nightingale Hospitals, as they cover large areas quickly. On trains, the new product needs to be applied traditionally with a microfibre cloth. In all locations, it is applied only after the entire surface area has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased.

Stations, trains and staff areas were already receiving enhanced cleans through additional extra staff, new 24-hour viruscide products and a switch to focus attention on passenger and staff touchpoints. Use of the 30-day viruscide will help GTR renew its focus on out of reach places to further improve the appearance of trains.

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