New advice and guidance has been issued by the government on this area, and can be accessed via www.gov.uk coronavirus guidance for landlords and tenants.
In summary :
1) Landlords are advised not to start possession notices during this period without very good reason.
2) Tenants have a right to a decent, warm, and safe place to live.
3) Tenants should continue to pay rent as best they can. If there are difficulties, then the tenant should speak with the landlord as soon as possible. Landlords should be understanding.
4) Mortgage lenders have agreed to offer up to 3 months payment holidays, including buy to let mortgages.
5) Landlords should continue to charge rents through this period, but payments may of course not be possible by some tenants.
6) Landlords and tenants are asked to take a pragmatic approach to reaching any agreement in these difficult times.
7) Landlord repair obligations continue, but planned inspections may be more difficult. This does not mean that they should not be done. Urgent repairs should be done within the guidelines to ensure that the ability to live safely is maintained.
8) Gas and electric safety inspections should be followed, and landlords should make every effort to abide by existing gas and electrical safety regulations.