COVID-19 Update 20th May
Latest advice & FAQs

Covid-19 FAQs

For added peace of mind, we thought we’d put together some FAQs which might help to answer your queries or concerns at this difficult time.

Tenant FAQs

  • Have all your offices reopened? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Following Government’s announcement confirming the re-opening of the English Housing Market, we are gradually reopening of our offices in England in accordance with Government guidelines designed to protect our colleagues and customers. Please contact us by telephone or email before visiting to check we are open and that a colleague will be available. Where your preferred office is yet to reopen we are covering appointments remotely.

    Restrictions in Wales and Scotland remain in place but are expected to be eased during June. Please contact us as usual via telephone or email.

  • Can you help find a property to rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - You can access details of available properties on our website. For further information it's best to email us using the branch email address on our website.

  • What about viewing property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has confirmed that in England and subject to a number of restrictions individuals from the same household can view a property they are interested in. Virtual viewings will be used whenever possible to help limit the number of viewings you need to arrange. Prior to the appointment, we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.

  • How will viewing be conducted safely? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The safety of our clients, applicants, colleagues and the wider community remains our primary consideration. Prior to an appointment, we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.

  • Do I need to continue paying my rent during the outbreak? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Rent remains payable. There is no automatic suspension of rental payments during the crisis.

  • What if I can’t afford to pay my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you are having trouble paying your rent it is important that you discuss this with your landlord as soon as possible.  If you make payments to us then please email creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk.

  • Can my landlord help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has an expectation that landlords will, where reasonably possible, support tenants in difficulty. Any support they can offer may well be dictated by their own personal circumstances.

  • What help might a landlord be able to provide if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    This will depend on your landlords personal circumstances but might include allowing you to make reduced/ deferred payments by way of a payment plan. If this happens it is important that you don’t breach the terms of the plan.

  • Can you help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Where we manage the property and collect rent we can speak with your landlord on your behalf. We are unable to agree payment terms on your landlord’s behalf and we need their consent to change any rental payments. When contacting us in relation to rental payments please do so by email to creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk or via the "Chat with Us" link on the right-hand side, then choose the option “Existing Tenant”

  • Can I pay my rent by card? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – If your local branch has yet to reopen or if you prefer not to visit in person we have created a dedicated payment line in order for you to make card payments for rent and any renewal fees that are lawfully due.

    Colleagues manning the payment line are unable to discuss rental arrears. If you are having trouble paying your rent please email us at creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk.

    PAYMENT LINE: 01623 416 100

    PEASE NOTE:  You must be the cardholder and provide the address to which the card is registered.           

  • Is other help available for tenants who are experiencing trouble in paying their rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – I you are in difficulty and need further help this is available from your local authority, Shelter, Citizens Advice and The Money Advice Service.  If you are eligible for Legal Aid you can contact Civil Legal Advice for free and confidential advice.

  • Can I be evicted from my home during the crisis? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    No – For an initial 90 days from March 27th no tenant will be expected to move and no landlord can take possession. This 90 day period maybe extended.

  • Are there different rules for eviction in Scotland? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 increased notice periods to up to six months. A number of previously mandatory grounds for possession, including rent arrears, are now discretionary. This allows those hearing claims to take into consideration the tenants personal circumstances.

  • What if a repair is required at the property during the outbreak? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has confirmed that landlords are required to repair the property and undertake routine inspections as usual. Similarly, tenants are required to provide access to the property for this purpose subject to Government guidance around infection, shielding and self-isolating. 

  • What about reporting repairs? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The fastest and easiest way to ensure that we are notified of a repair when we manage the property is by logging onto our website – choose “Rent” – “Report a Repair”. You will also receive helpful advice on what to do in an emergency.  Like many employers, we are operating a reduced workforce in the interest of keeping our staff safe. However, you can still contact us on our usual property management number.

  • What if I’m notified that the Gas Safety Record needs to be renewed? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has confirmed that renewal of the annual Gas Safety Record is an important part of keeping you safe in your home. This includes checks for carbon monoxide production. Carbon monoxide is a colourless odourless gas that can quickly kill, hence it often being referred to as the “Silent Killer”.  Allowing access for the inspection to take place subject to Government guidance around infection, shielding and self-isolating is important. 

    Please remember to test any smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted at the property on a weekly basis.

  • What about contractors accessing the property during the crisis? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Keys cannot be collected from our branches during the crisis. To ensure your safety and that of the contractor, they will call you directly to arrange access. Please advise them of any self-isolation or illness within the household. When providing access ensure that social distancing protocols are observed. If keys are transferred do so in a secure envelope ensuring they are sanitised before and after use.

  • Useful Information Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Fire

    • If you smell smoke or see fire call 999 immediately.
    • If living in a development of flats ensure that you are familiar with building evacuation protocols in the event of a fire.

    Gas

    • If you smell gas or think there may be a leak, open windows and doors and leave the property immediately. Do not turn on lights or light a cigarette.
    • Call the National Grid straight away on 0800 111 999, nationlagrid.com.
    • If in doubt call 999 immediately.

    No Electricity/ Supply Tripping

    • Check there is sufficient credit on the meter if you have a pre-payment meter.
    • Check with your neighbours and/ or your energy provider to establish if there is a problem in your area.
    • If your electricity keeps tripping (going off) turn off/ unplug appliances gradually turning them back on until the supply trips. This should highlight the problem device.
    • If the problem persists report the problem to us where we manage the property.

    Burst Pips

    • Turn off the water supply at the stopcock.
    • Use containers to try and catch the water.
    • If the water is close to electricity supplies or appliances immediately switch off the electricity supply at the mains.

    Loss of Water Supply

    • Check if your neighbours have the same problem
    • Check if the water authority serving your area has turned off the supply.
    • Contact the supplier if the problem persists.

    Lack of heating/ hot water

    • The majority of problems can usually be rectified with reference to the manufacturer’s instructions. Copy instruction manuals are readily available online.
    • Check that thermostats and timers haven’t inadvertently been adjusted.
    • With gas boilers try re-setting the pilot and re-pressurising the system with reference to the instruction manual.
    • If you have a hot water cylinder check to see if it has an immersion heater that you can use until the boiler is repaired.
    • If the problem persists report the problem to us where we manage the property.

Read all our FAQ's here

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