Latest News

Skills for jobs

14 May 2021

The UK Government set out in the Queen’s speech on 11 May, its legislative plans for adult education and training for the next parliamentary session with a proposed Skills and Post-16 Education Bill. Read More...

Commonhold Council launched

14 May 2021

An advisory panel of leasehold and industry groups has been launched to inform the UK Government on the future of commonhold homeownership. Read More...

Leasehold Reform Bill published

13 May 2021

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill has been published today, 13 May, and when implemented aims to help tackle inconsistency and ambiguity of ground rents for future leaseholders. 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.