Latest News

Rent controls are not the answer

08 April 2021

On 6 April, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan announced his manifesto ahead of the local elections in May 2021 with some key policy announcements that impact the housing sector, including proposals to introduce rent controls in the private rented sector. Read More...

Rent arrears mediation service information released

08 April 2021

Details of the UK Government’s housing possession mediation service was released yesterday, 7 April 2021, which was initially introduced in February 2021, as part of the current court process for housing possession cases. Read More...

Long term financial plan needed for greener property sector

08 April 2021

The UK Government announced that the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme launched last year will close to new applications on 31 March 2021, twelve months earlier than originally planned. Read More...

COVID-19 restrictions relaxed and financial support announced

Thursday 01 April 2021

From today, 1 April, restrictions across Northern Ireland have eased further as part of the Executive's roadmap out of lockdown and the Coronavirus Financial Assistance (Business Support) Scheme 2021 was launched on 31 March by the Department of Finance.

Lockdown rules

The Regulations now permit up to six people (including children) from two households to meet outdoors or in a garden. Two households can also undertake outdoor sporting activities – this allows sport, such as golf and tennis, to resume in small groups of individuals from two households. However, clubhouses and sports facilities including changing rooms, showers, kitchens, and meeting rooms must remain closed apart from essential toilet facilities. Garden centres and plant nurseries can now operate a contactless click and collect service.

View the Regulations 

Impact on the sector

Restrictions for the property sector are unchanged with high street agencies remaining closed to the public. Strictly following the safety guidance is still paramount. The Northern Ireland Executive strongly advises that virtual viewings are used wherever possible, but viewings of properties can take place, however, household mixing must be avoided during viewing.

Associated activities, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys, and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.

Moving home guidance 

Further financial support

The Coronavirus Financial Assistance (Business Support) Scheme 2021 was launched by the Department of Finance on 31 March. The further financial support is for businesses who have financially suffered through the Coronavirus pandemic and were not eligible for any of the financial support previously available.

If financial support was previously obtained whereby payment of not less than £10,000 was received under any of the following Schemes, a business will not be eligible:

  1. Localised Restrictions Support Scheme
  2. Coronavirus Restrictions Business Support

Once it becomes operational, details of the Scheme will be found on the Department of Finance website.