Latest News

Land Transaction Tax (LTT) nil rate band extended

04 March 2021

On 3 March 2021, the Welsh Government announced that the temporary increase to the nil rate band of LTT for residential property transactions will be extended to 30 June 2021. Read More...

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...

Council Tax Hardship Fund to support those affected by Coronavirus

Wednesday 25 March 2020

The Government has confirmed further support for renters with a £500 million hardship fund which will provide council tax relief for vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by Coronavirus.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

The Hardship Fund, which was announced by the Chancellor at Budget, will go to local authorities in England to enable them to reduce the 2020 to 2021 council tax bills of working-age people receiving Local Council Tax Support.

Guidance released on 24 March 2020 by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government provides clarity for councils on how to allocate the funding following its announcement at Budget.

THE GUIDANCE

The guidance is intended to support billing authorities in using their allocation from the £500m hardship fund announced at the Budget. The guidance which applies to England only outlines the underpinning principles for use of the fund and expected eligibility criteria for delivery of the support package.

Importantly, whether or not a taxpayer has been affected by COVID-19, directly or indirectly, should not be taken into account in assessing eligibility for this reduction.

The guidance

Quote mark

Providing the necessary financial support to people and families is critical at this difficult time when many people will be concerned about changes to their income.

That’s why we’re giving local councils an additional £500 million, to ensure help is available for the most vulnerable people in our society who are struggling to pay their council tax bills.

The Government is on your side and will do whatever it takes to help.

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP 


The guidance states that Government’s strong expectation is that billing authorities will provide all recipients of working age local council tax support (‘LCTS’) during the financial year 2020-21 with a further reduction in their annual council tax bill of £150. Where a taxpayer’s liability for 2020-21 is, following the application of council tax support, less than £150, then their liability would be reduced to nil.

The Government recognises that COVID-19 is likely to cause fluctuations in household incomes and recognises that, as a result, some individuals may struggle to meet council tax payments. Councils will already have established their local council tax support schemes for 2020-21. The Government, therefore, expects that billing authorities will primarily use their grant allocation to reduce the council tax liability of individuals in their area.

Councils will also be able to use the funding to provide further discretionary support to vulnerable people through other support arrangements such as Local Welfare Schemes.

COVID-19 How is it impacting your business?

We’re talking to Government on a daily basis to ensure they understand the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on vulnerable tenants, compliance, landlords, repairs and other essential services.

To help us spread this message we would like you to answer three questions about how the pandemic is affecting your business? If every agent reading this responds, then Government will not be able to ignore us and will have to #KeepTheRentFlowing.

Complete the survey

To keep up to date with the latest information on COVID-19 relating to the sector, you can follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.