Covid-19 – FAQ for homeowners

The coronavirus pandemic has been a testing time for us all. Britain has now entered a second lockdown, meaning all attention will once again be on staying indoors. As a homeowner, it can be confusing to know what is and isn’t allowed. 

To make things easier to understand, we’ve answered the top frequently asked questions regarding homeownership and Covid-19 to guide you. 

Can I move house during lockdown? 

Yes, although people from outside your household or support bubble can not help you to move house unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Estate agents, letting firms and removal companies can continue to work. This includes conducting property viewings, though everyone will be required to wear a mask and social distance when doing so. 

Can I still claim for a mortgage holiday?

Yes. The scheme was due to come to an end in October 2020 but has now been extended for up to 6 months. You can claim if you are otherwise up to date on your mortgage, and have concerns about paying it due to being financially affected by Covid-19. 

Buy-to-let landlords are also eligible to claim, with the expectation that they will pass the payment break onto their tenants. The deadline for applying for a mortgage holiday is January 31, 2021, at the time of writing.

Am I eligible for tax relief while working from home?

Yes. If you’re an employee who has worked from home for at least one day since April 6th, you can claim tax relief. The value is up to £125, so is well worth applying for if you qualify. 

Do landlords still need to arrange repairs for tenants during lockdown?

Yes. The landlord is still responsible for maintaining the property, throughout lockdown and Covid-19 in general. Though the government has advised that repairs should only be carried out if they are urgent or if there is a safety risk while in lockdown. If repairs are required and the landlord needs to enter the property, it is advised the tenants stay in another room to avoid any contact. 

I can’t stay at my main residence during lockdown. What should I do?

During lockdown, the government has stated homeowners can stay elsewhere overnight if there is a legitimate reason why they cannot stay at their main residence. 

Otherwise, people are not permitted to stay in second homes, caravans, hotels or with friends or family. 

Outside of lockdown, you should follow the local advice as each area of the UK may have different restrictions. 

Can I have a cleaner in my house during lockdown?

Cleaning counts as a job that cannot be done remotely, and the government has stated that cleaners can continue to work as normal during the second lockdown. 

If you have a cleaner visit your home during the pandemic, it’s advised you social distance and that they wear a mask. 

To sum up

Above is a list of some of the FAQ for homeowners during Covid-19. As always, we suggest consulting the latest government advice on matters relating to homeownership, work and travel as the information is subject to change.