Latest News

No change to Right to Rent despite new UK points-based system

21 February 2020

The UK Government has announced that from 1 January 2021, free movement will end, and they will introduce the UK’s Points-Based System but they are still no closer to confirming plans for the future of Right to Rent checks after Britain leaves the EU. Read More...

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Propertymark Industry Supplier, Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) reveal the most popular type of tenancy deposit protection scheme. Read More...

£16 million funding to go to survivors of domestic violence

17 February 2020

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed that 75 councils across England will benefit from funding to help boost their domestic abuse refuge services. Read More...

Christopher Pincher is tenth Housing Minister in a decade

14 February 2020

Christopher Pincher MP has been appointed Housing Minister in the cabinet reshuffle replacing Esther McVey. Mr Pincher is the MP for Tamworth and was previously the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. Read More...

MHCLG responds to business rates concerns

12 February 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has responded to Propertymark’s concerns about the level of business rates faced by agents on the high street. Read More...

Housing dominates Irish elections

11 February 2020

With the general election results now in and Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael finishing in third place, many commentators have said that dealing with housing needs should be top of the new Government’s agenda and tackled sooner rather than later. Read More...

New law proposed in Wales to extend notice periods

11 February 2020

The Welsh Government has introduced the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill with the aim of amending the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 to guarantee a minimum of 12 months’ protection against eviction at the start of a new tenancy if they have not breached the terms of their contract. Read More...

Scottish agency reaping benefits of regulation

10 February 2020

ARLA Propertymark regulates members which demonstrate their dedication to professionalism and development. Clan Gordon, a Scottish letting agent who abides by these standards as a Propertymark Protected member, says it is growing on the back of regulation as many landlords turn to more credible agents. Read More...

Propertymark submits suggestions for spring budget

10 February 2020

Suggestions have been sent to HM Treasury on new policy ideas for both estate and letting agents to be included in 2020’s Spring Budget. Read More...

EU Settlement Scheme receives more than 3 million applications

06 February 2020

Home Secretary Priti Patel has today (6 February 2020) announced that there have been more than 3 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme less than a year after it was launched. Read More...

Scottish Energy Efficiency PRS Regulations now laid

05 February 2020

The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 have today (5 February) been introduced to put measures in place to improve the energy efficiency of private rented property in Scotland. Read More...

Propertymark supports Fire Kills campaign

05 February 2020

Propertymark is partnering with the UK Government’s fire safety campaign to spread the message of everyday fire hazards and urge agents and landlords to ensure smoke alarms are installed on every floor of their properties. Read More...

GE2019 - Party pledges and Propertymark

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Before the political parties finalised their manifestoes for the General Election on 12 December, Propertymark published its own ‘manifesto’ calling on the new Government to regulate and reform the housing sector. How do the major parties’ manifestoes meet Propertymark’s calls on the issues the property industry faces?

Manifesto match-up


Regulation of property agents - Propertymark has called on the new Government to commit to regulating property agents and take forward the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) Working Group.


An open database for rogue landlords and property agents - opening the existing Database for Rogue Landlords and Property Agents, currently only available to local authorities, would mean access for tenants, agents, and regulatory bodies alike. 


Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats mention regulatory enforcement for mandatory nationwide licensing, though this mainly focuses on lettings agents. The Labour manifesto mentions the introduction of new minimum standards, enforced through nationwide licensing and tougher sanctions for landlords who break the licensing rules. 

Abolish the 3 per cent surcharge on additional residential property - to boost the supply of rented housing the Government should remove the 3 per cent surcharge on additional homes.  


None of the major parties has met this challenge, and none have chosen policies that increase rental stock, however, the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats have a plan for local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500 per cent where homes are being bought as second homes and, like Labour, to introduce a stamp duty surcharge on overseas residents or companies purchasing such properties. 


Introduce Property MOTs - an annual ‘MOT’ of rental properties should replace the expensive existing discretionary licensing schemes, improve enforcement, and give landlords a steer on how to maintain or improve conditions for tenants.  


Labour would introduce a new national ‘property MOT’. This would introduce a legal requirement for landlords to complete an independent annual inspection to ensure homes are up to scratch, with tough fines and forced repayment of rent to tenants if landlords let out sub-standard properties or flout the rules. This was pledged after the publication of their manifesto.


Introduce a digital logbook for every property bought and sold - to cut down the number of failed property transactions and speed up the process of property buying and selling, the Government should introduce a digital property logbook. 


No parties addressed this issue directly.


Exempt downsizers from stamp duty or give them incentives to encourage them to move


The Liberal Democrats mention a wish to introduce positive incentives for people to downsize. Stamp duty is only mentioned in the context of increasing it for non-UK resident buyers (Conservatives) and Graduating Stamp Duty Land Tax by the energy rating of the property and reducing VAT on home insulation (Liberal Democrats).


Court system reform – no ban on Section 21; introducing a dedicated Housing Court for England and Wales. 


 Both Labour and the Conservatives have pledged to abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions.


Legislate to ensure developers remedy leasehold agreements containing onerous clauses - to support those who have been impacted by onerous clauses in a leasehold agreement, the next Government should legislate to ensure that developers find a remedy for those affected.


Both the Conservatives and Labour have addressed issues surrounding leasehold. Conservatives pledge to continue with reforms to leasehold such as implementing a ban on the sale of new leasehold homes, restricting ground rents to a peppercorn, and providing necessary mechanisms of redress for tenants. Labour pledges to end the sale of new leasehold properties, abolish unfair fees and conditions, and give leaseholders the right to buy their freehold at a price they can afford. Additionally, they pledge to introduce equivalent rights for freeholders on privately owned estates


End the Local Housing Allowance cap and improve how Universal Credit operates - the cap must be lifted to accurately reflect the cost of renting. Tenants should have a choice over whether the housing element of their Universal Credit is paid directly to their landlord. The new administration should also introduce the option for tenants to be paid their Universal Credit twice monthly to assist with budgeting.


The Labour manifesto pledges to scrap Universal Credit entirely, with an emergency package of reforms while a replacement system is developed including introducing fortnightly payments and paying the housing element directly to landlords. We will stop housing costs running away from benefits by scrapping the bedroom tax and increasing the Local Housing Allowance.

The Liberal Democrats pledge to reduce the wait for the first payment from five weeks to five days; increase Local Housing Allowance in line with average rents in an area; and abolish the bedroom tax.


Review of landlord taxes - the next Government must launch a review of all taxes relating to private landlords. Investment is falling because of the phasing out of tax relief on mortgage interest for landlords.


No parties have addressed this directly.


Introduce new regulations for short term lets - new regulations must be introduced for short term lets such as Airbnb.


Labour pledges to give councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies such as Airbnb.


Help the Private Rented Sector with energy efficiency and climate change – the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) should be reintroduced and extended to include anything contained within the Recommendations Report of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).


This is not directly addressed, but the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party have several renewable energy measures for both homeowners and the private rented sector, including a Liberal Democrat pledge to increase of minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties and remove the cost cap on improvements Labour, plan to cut energy bills by introducing a tough new zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes, and upgrading millions of existing homes to make them more energy-efficient.


Extend Flood Re to the leasehold sector and Private Rented Sector - the Flood Re obligation currently excludes the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and the leasehold sector. Therefore, an estimated seven million homes remain excluded from the Flood Reinsurance obligation, including 1.1 million leasehold homes and three million homes in urban areas.


The Labour manifesto pledges to provide an extra £5.6 billion in funding to improve the standard of flood defences and respond to the increased risk of flooding.

Read the Propertymark 'manifesto'