Latest News

Welsh Government guidance for property agents and landlords

07 April 2020

The Welsh Government has produced Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance covering self-isolation, visiting a property, mental well-being, supporting tenants and business support. Read More...

Propertymark campaign succeeds in including commission in furloughed pay

06 April 2020

Government has amended the eligibility criteria following Propertymark's campaign for agents' commission payments to be included in claims for Furloughed Pay. Read More...

Landlord Income Tax Relief fully phased in

06 April 2020

At the Summer Budget 2015, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced that the amount of Income Tax relief landlords can get on residential property finance costs will be restricted and gradually reduced from April 2017 until April 2020. Read More...

UK Gov guidance – EPCs and COVID-19

06 April 2020

On 2 April 2020, the UK Government released information confirming that the legal requirement to obtain an EPC before selling or letting a property remains in place, but EPC assessments should only be conducted where they can be done safely and in line with guidance relating to Coronavirus. Read More...

Agents on commission must be considered in Job Retention Scheme

03 April 2020

In a letter to Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Propertymark has urged him to promptly allow agents to include employee’s full salaries under the variable pay element of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Read More...

CAS says face-to-face assessments suspension should be permanent

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has welcomed the Government’s proposal to suspend face-to-face social security assessments during the coronavirus outbreak and have called for the change to be made permanent.

From now until further notice, claimants on disability benefits and people needing health checks for Universal Credit will not need to attend face-to-face assessments for the next three months.

The Government has put the measures in place a temporary precaution in order to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus and said it will ensure those who are entitled to a benefit continue to receive support, and that new claimants are able to access the safety net.

The temporary change will affect claimants of:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit (some, not all)
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

The suspension of face-to-face assessments also covers new claims to those benefits.

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This is the right decision and the forthcoming months will provide further evidence to show why this change should be extended after coronavirus has passed.

Since face-to-face assessments were introduced, CAB advisers have seen many cases where they have caused distress and resulted in wrong decisions, many of which have had to be overturned on appeal.

They are expensive, time-consuming and not well-suited to the outcome wanted.

If they are to be cancelled for coronavirus we believe they should be ended indefinitely and that we should collate definite evidence over the forthcoming time to demonstrate this change once and for all that all assessments should now be paper-based, making use of existing evidence.”

Mhoraig Green, CAS social justice spokesperson

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As we move into the next phase of our response to coronavirus, it is right we take steps to protect those with health problems.

Temporarily suspending face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits will allow us to ensure we continue to provide a safety net for those in need while removing unnecessary risk of exposure to this disease.

Thérèse Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary

PROPERTYMARK COVID-19 CHECKLIST

Propertymark has created a 27-point list in line with the Delay stage of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support agents to reduce the opportunities for transmission and best guide them to protect their staff, clients and themselves whilst continuing to deliver the social interaction required to carry out their professional duties.

Checklist