Latest News

Scottish Government advice for agents

27 March 2020

The Scottish Government urges letting agents to familiarise themselves with the latest, extensive advice issued during the continuing COVID-19 crisis. Read More...

COVID-19: Court services suspended for housing possessions

27 March 2020

Due to the deadly spread of COVID-19 and the social distancing measures that have been put in place, the UK Government passed into law the Coronavirus Act on 25 March 2020 which provides additional powers to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak. Read More...

Self-employed to receive 80% supplement by June

26 March 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak this evening announced a new self-employed income support scheme, comprising a taxable grant worth 80% of their average profit over the last three years. The scheme will be open for three months and will be extended if needed. Read More...

Changes to eviction rules after Coronavirus Act passes into law

26 March 2020

The UK Government passed into law the Coronavirus Act on Wednesday 25 March 2020 providing additional powers to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak including measures to suspend new evictions from private rented accommodation while the national crisis is taking place. Read More...

COVID-19: NFCC gives advice on waking watchers

26 March 2020

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has issued guidance stating that any agents, among other responsible persons with any doubt about waking watchers in buildings with flammable cladding materials present should get in touch. Read More...

Measures to protect landlords and tenants

Thursday 19 March 2020

The Government last night announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by Coronavirus.

As a result of these changes, no renter in either private or socially rented accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction, as they will not be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

The package announced on 18 March includes:

  • Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
  • No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
  • Landlords will also be protected as a three-month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages

Yesterday, ARLA Propertymark informed members across the lettings and estate sector that emergency legislation would be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, the Government has confirmed that the three-month mortgage payment holiday announced earlier in the week will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. This important step on Buy to Let mortgages ensures parity of support, further to the announcement that the Government made for private mortgage holders.

Government guidance will be issued which asks landlords to show compassion and to allow tenants who are affected by this to remain in their homes wherever possible.

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We are very conscious of the plight of tenants in these difficult times and appreciate any Government action to help those affected by the current situation.

Letting agencies rely on rental payments and therefore Government must help to ensure agents can maintain their current service levels during any period where rent is not being paid. Specifically, we are calling on Government to extend the retail discount on business rates to estate and letting agents.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive

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The Government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.

These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. This is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.

Robert Jenrick MP, Housing Secretary 

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

To support this announcement, the Government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.

WHAT PROPERTYMARK IS DOING

On the back of members' comments, Propertymark is bringing these to the Government’s attention to ensure the sector’s voice is heard. We will inform members of any further progression.