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Mortgage payments

Mortgage Payment Holidays of up to 3 months duration are available to borrowers who have been affected by the Covid-19 Crisis, and lenders have confirmed that Credit Reports/Scores will not be impacted if a mortgage payment holiday is taken.

Each lender has their own mechanism for applying, and most now have an online form or email address to use to request a mortgage payment holiday – please refer to the existing customer section of your lender’s website, for further information.

 **UPDATE: Whilst lenders are still stating 3 months on their websites (as they’re working on the premise that it’s up to three months initially), after that time, there may be the option to extend for up to a further three months. Lenders will be contacting borrowers at the end of the three month period, to discuss individual circumstances.

 

Rent payments

The Citizens Advice Bureau advise talking to your landlord or letting agent straight away if you are struggling to pay your rent. As detailed further in the help for renters document by Money Saving Expert, the Government has noted that existing protocols for social landlords dealing with rent arrears will be extended to include private landlords too, asking landlords to be compassionate and allow tenants to stay in their homes wherever possible. Private landlords are also now eligible for a three-month buy-to-let mortgage payment holiday if their tenants are experiencing financial difficulties. Technically they needn't pass this on to their tenants, but morally they should.

The Government has made a temporary change to the law around eviction because of Coronavirus. Your landlord might have to give you extra notice before they can evict you - it depends on your tenancy type. For further information on rent payments, including the eviction periods, please visit Citizens Advice.

It may also be worth checking that you are receiving all of the financial help you are entitled to, which my include Universal Credit. The Government announced on 20th March that it is increasing the housing allowance part of Universal Credit so that the local housing allowance would cover at least 30% of the lowest rents in your area. Please visit the Employment and Benefits Coronavirus Guide by Money Saving Expert for more information.

 

House Buying/Moving Home/Mortgage Availability

The Government is advising anyone who is due to complete on a home move, to delay until after the current restrictions on movement are removed. The exception is where the property being moved into, is empty. Lenders have agreed to extend the validity dates on Offer Letters, to enable compliance with the Government advice.

Solicitors and conveyancers are "pausing" some transactions and are working on a process to legally delay completions. If you are in the process of buying or moving home, you should check the situation with the solicitor acting for you. New purchases and New Build purchases have largely stopped for the time being, as viewers are not permitted and valuers cannot gain access to the properties.

Mortgage availability for potential purchases and re-mortgages has also greatly reduced, as lenders struggle to cope with staffing issues and the exceptionally large volume of calls regarding Mortgage Payment Holidays. This is a temporary measure.

The ability to transfer or switch to a new interest rate with your current lender is not affected by the restrictions. However, we recommend that you seek advice from a Mortgage Adviser to ensure that this is in your best interests.

 

Life assurance

Some Life and other Insurance applications are on hold at the present time – particularly those that require further medical information by way of a Medical Examination or Report from a GP.

Life Assurance providers are now asking for additional information, specifically relating to Covid-19.

 

Please note, the information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual advice. This information is accurate as at the time of publication, however it is important to remember that information and guidance is currently changing on a daily basis, and the information contained in this document is not exhaustive. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments. Please contact Davidson Asset Management is you require any specific individual advice.  Davidson Asset Management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  DAM is a trading style of Davidson Asset Management Ltd.