The Council has enacted its business continuity plans and is redeploying staff to priority services.

Please check our Coronavirus updates page for the latest information about Council services.

Housing

We are trying very hard to maintain our high level of service and we would ask for your patience when you contact us. We are currently providing advice to customers over the telephone (01892 526121) or by email: housingadvice@tunbridgewells.gov.uk rather than organising face to face meetings.

If you are homeless, or about to become homeless, we will respond as quickly as we can, usually on the same day.

If you require general housing options advice, advice around Section 21 Notices, joining the housing register or if you have other housing related questions, please be aware that it may take up to ten working days to respond to your enquiry.

You can find information about applying to the housing register in the Kent Homechoice website.

You can find information about Section 21 Notices in Shelter's Section 21 eviction page.

The Government is putting emergency legislation in place so private and social tenants are not evicted while this national emergency is taking place. Please see the "Complete ban on evictions and additional protection for renters" press release in the GOV.UK site.

No new possession proceedings will go to Court. However, if you are facing eviction, you do still need to pay your rent. If you have rent arrears, please contact your landlord to organise a repayment plan.

Other housing information can be found in the Housing section of our website.

Homelessness and rough sleepers

The Housing team has furnished a temporary accommodation flat in case a homeless applicant needs to self isolate. We also have emergency housing for this purpose.

We will be continuing the existing emergency accommodation bookings that we have had in place for rough sleepers over the winter months. These bookings were due to finish at the end of March.

Private Sector Housing – Rented accommodation

During this COVID-19 pandemic it is essential that the Council, landlords and tenants work together to keep rented properties safe. Landlords repairing obligations have not changed and they must ensure their properties are kept in good repair and free from hazards. However it is encouraged for landlords and tenants to take a common sense approach to non-urgent issues which can reasonably be resolved once COVID-19 restrictions are removed.

For repairs which present an urgent risk to the tenants health and safety they must be undertaken in line with current social distancing requirements.

An urgent risk to health and safety are those which will affect a tenants ability to live safely and maintain their mental and physical health in the home. This could include (but is not limited to):

  • If there is a problem with the fabric of a building, for example the roof is leaking;
  • If a boiler is broken, leaving a tenant without heating or hot water; and
  • If there is a plumbing issue, meaning a tenant doesn’t have washing or toilet  facilities.

If for whatever reason a landlord doesn’t undertake urgent repairs then Private Sector Housing will continue to investigate and when necessary ensure repairs are undertaken. Any Council  involvement will be dealt with electronically and over the telephone, specifically to minimise face to face contact and ensuring the safety of both staff and customers.

In response to the current pandemic, Government have made significant changes to housing legislation and to explain this, have published guidance outlining what the new legislation means for landlords and tenants and what support there is for both parties.

The government's guidance can be found on their COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities page.

Guidance has been produced for both landlords and tenants on what to do if an occupier of a multi occupied property has or is believed to have coronavirus.

Covid 19 HMO Tenants' information leaflet (PDF File - 93.5 KB)

Covid 19 HMO Landlords' information leaflet (PDF File - 85.3 KB)

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