Latest News

Winter weather precautions

20 January 2021

Propertymark Industry Supplier, Gallagher offers practical steps that can help agents and their clients reduce the risk of damage to property as areas of the nation are set to see further warnings of more inclement weather to come. Damage caused by the escape of water from frozen pipes and other equipment can be extremely costly in repairs and disruption. Read More...

Concerns raised over new energy efficiency proposals

20 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on Improving the Energy Performance of Privately Rented Homes in England and Wales by highlighting a number of concerns. These relate to affordability and the need to look beyond a one-size fits all policy and develop proposals that work with the different age, condition, and size of properties in the private rented sector. Read More...

Change smoke and carbon rules for earlier checks

19 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on extending the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations in England, arguing that the rules should be amended so that landlords and agents must make sure the alarms are tested prior to the start of the tenancy and not on the first day of each new tenancy. Read More...

Licensing schemes are irresponsible in the current climate

19 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to a number of licensing scheme proposals from local authorities across England in recent months arguing that Councils who are pursuing the implementation of licensing schemes are being socially irresponsible. This is because in these unprecedented times landlords and agents are not able to comply with the requirements and Council resources are unlikely to be able to effectively enforce them. Read More...

UK Government urged to help renters clear COVID-19 rent debts

Friday 28 August 2020

ARLA Propertymark, along with five other leading organisations representing tenants, landlords and letting agents have united to urge the UK Government to provide financial help to private renters plunged into rent arrears during the pandemic through no fault of their own.

Maintaining tenancies is the best way to support both the rental sector and the economy as a whole. Support for landlords in England - absent in the UK Government's plans to date - is vital in order for tenancies to continue. 

The coalition is calling for a short-term package of emergency grants and loans worth £270 million to help renters who have lost out on income or been furloughed as a result of the pandemic. The emergency fund would be limited to helping tenants pay off any unexpected rent arrears built up since the start of the lockdown.

Despite recent UK Government efforts to increase housing benefit rates to cover the bottom third of private rents, thousands are still falling through the gaps in the welfare safety net. The coalition argues the fund would help both tenants to keep their homes and landlords who rely on rental income for their livelihoods. It would also prevent rising homelessness adding to the current economic crisis.

The letter, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, acknowledges the challenges, but also where support has been absent, calling for reform to Local Housing Allowance, Universal Credit, and the benefit cap. It included proposals that support is provided through three mechanisms:

  • Ring-fenced funding administered through local authorities, using a mechanism like the Discretionary Housing Payment
  • An additional cash injection into local welfare assistance schemes
  • Government-backed, interest-free loans for tenants not eligible for the above support

Specifically, the proposal outlines ringfenced funding with a limited timeframe, to avoid the unintended consequences of discouraging tenants from making payments where they are able to do so. Crucially, tenants could also claim for a lump sum to be paid directly to the landlord.

These steps could be pivotal in ARLA Propertymark's campaign to #Keeptherentflowing and we will continue to represent our members' interests at the highest level and to ensure that the UK Government’s actions, in light of the pandemic, are fair and manageable for the private rented sector. 

Help support the campaign by writing to your local MP urging them to take action and ensure the UK Government introduces these emergency measures.

Financial Support Package

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It is vital that the UK Government introduce emergency measures to support those in rent arrears brought about because of COVID-19 to ensure that tenancies are maintained, and we keep the rent flowing.

Timothy Douglas

Timothy Douglas
Propertymark Campaigns and Policy Manager