Latest News

Lack of direct financial support for the sector in the Budget

03 March 2021

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a number of measures affecting the property industry in the UK Government’s 2021 budget, but Propertymark believes more should be done in order to tackle COVID-related rent arrears. Read More...

Calls continue for a Welsh Housing Survey

03 March 2021

Propertymark is continuing to back the National Residential Landlords Association’s (NRLA) in their campaign for the introduction of a Welsh Housing Survey (WHS). Laura Jones MS, Welsh Conservative Shadow Housing Minister, and Mike Hedges MS, Welsh Labour Chair of the Cross Party Group for Housing recently backed the calls by stating that “a Welsh Housing Survey is needed as evidence-based policymaking should be taken as standard.” Read More...

Surge in the number of prospective tenants seeking properties

26 February 2021

ARLA Propertymark’s first Private Rented Sector Report of 2021 covering January shows the number of new prospective tenants rose by more than 27 per cent compared to December 2020 indicating no sign of demand slowing down. Read More...

Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill introduced

24 February 2021

The Welsh Government has announced the introduction of the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill which extends the minimum notice period from two to six months alongside other new provisions and will be implemented before the end of its current Assembly (May 2021). Read More...

Landlord case makes legal history

24 February 2021

A Wales based landlord pleaded guilty to harassing a tenant, which is the first time a case of this nature has been brought to the Crown Court and received a six-month jail term suspended for two years. Read More...

Property expert Nathan Emerson becomes Interim CEO of Propertymark

24 February 2021

The Board of Propertymark has asked Nathan Emerson to assume the role of Interim CEO with immediate effect. Nathan’s appointment will provide great stability for the organisation, its staff and its members and will ensure that the operational delivery of its new and exciting strategy is taken forward. Read More...

 

Further extension on ban on evictions and mediation pilot announced

Monday 15 February 2021

On 14 February, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a further extension to the ban on bailiff evictions in order to ‘continue to support renters during the ongoing national lockdown restrictions’.

The initial ban on evictions was introduced at the start of the pandemic, and after a so-called ‘Christmas-truce’ and previous extensions which pushed the end date to 22 February, the new extension will now be in place until 31 March. The UK Government has said that again, the measures will be kept under review in line with the latest public health advice.

Eviction exemptions

Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances that cause the greatest strain on landlords as well as other residents and neighbours, these include:

  • illegal occupation
  • false statement
  • anti-social behaviour
  • where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant
  • extreme rent arrears

Notice periods

Landlords are also required to give six-month notice periods to tenants before starting possession proceedings, except in the most serious circumstances, meaning that most renters now served notice can stay in the property until at least August 2021.

Financial support for tenants

Councils also have access to an existing £180 million of funding through Discretionary Housing Payments which can be distributed to renters to support them with their housing costs.

Court proceedings

The Court rules and procedures introduced in September will remain in place and regularly reviewed, with courts continuing to prioritise the most cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation and perpetrators of domestic abuse.

New mediation pilot

The UK Government also launched a free mediation pilot to support landlords and tenants to resolve disputes before a formal court hearing takes place. The new service offers mediation as part of the possession process to try and help landlords and tenants reach a mutual agreement and keep people in their homes.

Resolving disputes through mediation will enable the courts to prioritise urgent cases and will help resolve issues more quickly without the need for a formal hearing.

Quote mark

Whilst this announcement was not unexpected it does little to help the repercussions of the mounting crisis in the private rented sector. The UK Government must urgently follow the lead of Scottish and Welsh Governments and put measures in place to support tenants with COVID-19 rent-related debt to avoid a cliff edge when the ban is lifted.”

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor

Propertymark's COVID-related rent arrears campaign

Propertymark continues to focus on campaigning for Government support for COVID-related rent arrears in England in order to #keeptherentflowing.

The latest message from ARLA Propertymark President Angela Davey, outlines the measures that should be put in place, our serious concerns about landlords exiting the sector and asks every member to join the campaign by contacting their MP, referencing cases in your area.