Latest News

Market outlook is strong

14 August 2020

With the demand for rental property on the increase and the sales market experiencing a significant rise in mortgage applications lockdown hasn’t been a deterrent for buyers and renters determined to make a change. Read More...

Tenancy Deposit lessons from lockdown

14 August 2020

As restrictions are gradually easing and the housing market begins to see encouraging movement, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) takes a look back over recent months and reflects on the valuable lessons learnt that can help with the recovery moving forward. Read More...

The impact of COVID-19 on letting agents in Northern Ireland

13 August 2020

ARLA Propertymark responded to a consultation from the Department of Communities (Northern Ireland) looking at areas of concern impacting letting agents throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Read More...

Propertymark responds to Flood Insurance Review 2020

13 August 2020

An estimated seven million homes remain excluded from the Flood Re insurance obligation, including 1.1 million leasehold homes, and three million homes in urban areas. Propertymark has long held the view that the scheme should be extended to cover the leasehold and private rented sector. Read More...

Spotting the signs of criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults

Friday 16 August 2019

The Home Office's County Lines campaign aims to help landlords and letting agents – and other frontline staff— to spot potential victims, and report concerns to either the police, anonymously to Crimestoppers, or safeguard in line with their organisation’s safeguarding policy.

County Lines is the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas, as well as market and coastal towns, by using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”.

Gangs use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money to these areas. Once caught up in County Lines, exploited individuals are at risk of extreme physical and/or sexual violence, gang recriminations and trafficking.

County Line drug gangs rent property where they operate. Guidance for letting agents and landlords can help you spot the signs of potential victims and report concerns.

Spot the signs:

  • Do visitors come at unusual times of the day or night?
  • Are there suspicious smells around the property?
  • Is a tenant getting more visitors?
  • Has a tenant stopped leaving their house?
  • Are curtains or blinds almost always shut?
  • Has anti-social behaviour increased?

A tenant might also:

  • Offer to pay rent for a long period (e.g. 6 months) upfront in cash
  • Appear affluent but want to rent an inexpensive property
  • Be unable to provide landlord or employment references
  • Prefer to pay rent in cash without good justification
  • Prevent you from inspecting your property when given reasonable notice
If you have concerns that a vulnerable tenant is being exploited, you should report it to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111, or to the police.

You can find more information and resources on the Home Office website including guidelines, posters, and social media images to use and share with local businesses.