Latest News

TDS – How to reduce pet-related tenancy deposit disputes

27 November 2020

Sandy Bastin, Head of Adjudication Services at Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), discusses the debate on whether owners and agents should allow tenants to keep pets in private rented properties given the spike in pet ownership since the Coronavirus pandemic began. Read More...

Consultation on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

26 November 2020

The Government has opened a consultation on mandatory installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in England. While the consultation, which closes on 11 January 2021, primarily focuses on social housing it also covers aspects of the private rented sector and is an opportunity to make the case for reform of existing regulations, where they could be improved. Read More...

More work needed on Building Safety Bill in order to protect leaseholders

25 November 2020

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee released their report on the draft Building Safety Bill this week outlining their concerns that the draft does not do enough to protect leaseholders. Read More...

Pressure continues on UK Government for further financial support on rent arrears

25 November 2020

ARLA Propertymark, along with a coalition of six other leading professional bodies, charities and building societies, are urging the UK Government to provide financial help to private renters who have been thrust into rent arears during the economic impact of Coronavirus. Read More...

PM announces COVID-19 Winter Plan

23 November 2020

Boris Johnson, today, 23 November, announced in Parliament, a COVID-19 Winter Plan which provides a roadmap out of national lockdown in England from 2 December. Read More...

Extension on suspension of evictions

Monday 08 June 2020

The Government announced on 5 June 2020 that the suspension of evictions has been extended in England and Wales for a further two months meaning that landlords will continue to be unable to start proceedings to evict tenants.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP specified the extension which takes the moratorium on evictions up until the end of August and to a total of five months “to ensure that renters continue to have certainty and security.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

The Government has asked that agents and landlords work with tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and exhaust all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account a tenant’s individual circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort.

NEW AND EXISTING POSSESSION CLAIMS

Importantly, the change in law only applies to notices served on or after 26 March 2020. From 27 March 2020, the court service suspended all ongoing housing possession action. This means that neither cases either currently in or about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action initially lasted for 90 days but has been extended until the end of August.

THE COURT SYSTEM

The Government said it was working with the judiciary to draw up new legal guidance which would ensure the courts were “better able to address the need for appropriate protection of all parties, including those shielding from Coronavirus”.

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Protecting vulnerable people has been our priority throughout this pandemic. Extending this ban will give people invaluable security in these turbulent times and work continues at pace to ensure vulnerable renters remain protected long after the ban ends.

Robert Buckland QC MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

The announcement builds on the radical package of measured taken during these difficult times to protect both renters and landlords affected by Coronavirus, including:

  • The introduction of emergency legislation so landlords won’t be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period which will remain in place until at least September.
  • Extending mortgage payment holdings to include landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic.
  • Supporting businesses to continue to pay their staff through the furlough scheme, as well as strengthening the welfare safety net with a nearly £7 billion boost to the welfare system and increasing Local Housing Allowance.
  • Delivering £180 million in Discretionary Housing Payments to councils across the country to support renters with housing costs in the private and social rented sectors.
  • Guidance helps agents, landlords, and tenants to work together to resolve issues at the earliest opportunity.

More information for landlords and agents on renting during the pandemic can be found on the GOV.UK website below.

Guidance

WHAT PROPERTYMARK IS DOING

Citizens Advice has recently gained widespread media coverage by claiming that 2.6m households will have missed a rent payment, or expect to do so, owing to the virus. ARLA Propertymark has been gathering information from members about the extent of rent arrears building in the private rented sector in order to provide the most accurate and up to date picture to the Government so that they can make informed, evidence-based decisions rather than policy based on this sort of conjecture.

For help and guidance through this difficult time, Propertymark has created a series of informational guides and fact sheets in the members' area.

COVID-19 resources