Latest News

Energy Efficiency PRS Regulations in Scotland on hold again

15 January 2021

The Scottish Government has today, 15 January, announced the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Standards that were to come into law in April 2021, with the first standard requiring properties to have a minimum EPC rating D for new tenancies from April 2022, have again been postponed. Read More...

New building safety regulators proposed for Wales

15 January 2021

The Welsh Government’s Building Safety White Paper covers all multi-occupied residential buildings, from houses converted into flats through to high rise apartment blocks. It sets out major reforms to how properties are designed, built, managed, and lived in whilst proposing clear lines of accountability and a stronger regulatory system. Read More...

Support growing for Fire Safety Bill amendments that add protection for leaseholders

15 January 2021

In November, the House of Lords passed an amendment to the UK Government’s Fire Safety Bill making changes to the current legislation to protect leaseholders from having to pay for historical fire safety remedial work, including the removal of dangerous cladding. Read More...

Tightened restrictions for working from home and in people’s homes

13 January 2021

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced today, 13 January, six new changes to COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland to come into force on Saturday, 16 January, subject to Parliament approval. Among these changes are statutory guidance on working from home and a limitation on working within other people's homes by law. Read More...

Property industry urges the use of the UPRN across the sector

13 January 2021

Propertymark, along with other leading residential property bodies across the UK, have published an open letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Thalia Baldwin, Director of the Geospatial Commission highlighting the potential benefits from implementing a widely adopted Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN). 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.

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