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...

Northern Ireland Executive announces COVID-19 response

Thursday 19 March 2020

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill announced a wide-ranging package of support aimed at supporting all sections of the economy and society. Acknowledging the impact already being felt by the economy, businesses, public services, jobs, and people’s livelihood.

Key measures to support the sector

  • Exploring support for people in the private/social rented sector
  • Exploring support for people in crisis and emergency accommodation
  • Launch of community support fund (getting essential support to people)
  • £370 million grant support scheme for most vulnerable businesses
    • Immediate grants of £10,000 will be provided to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (those with NAV up to £15,000)
    • Immediate grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors
    • The schemes will be administered by DfE / InvestNI working with DoF’s Land and Property Services

Business rates

The Executive has already committed to providing a three-month rates holiday to all businesses from April to June 2020, automatically reducing the annual rate bill by 25 per cent.

Rate bills for 2020-21 were due to be issued in April 2020. To avoid placing financial pressure on ratepayers affected by COVID-19, rate bills will not be issued until June 2020, which will happen automatically.

The Hardship Rate Relief scheme is available for non-domestic ratepayers who have been affected by exceptional circumstances. It is only available on rates that are due, and if a business has been affected during March 2020.

At any time a ratepayer is experiencing any difficulty in paying a business rate bill, they are encouraged to contact Land and Property Services at the earliest opportunity.

Northern Ireland Executive's statements

FORTHCOMING ANNOUNCEMENT

A range of measures will be coming forward and over the coming days with daily Government updates.

The leaders pledged to be in regular and focused communication with the public and will be available daily to communicate and keep people updated on what actions and measures they are taking.

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Today we stand united as leaders to help guide Northern Ireland – our people – through this time of unprecedented challenge.

Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland First Minister  

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It's a very difficult time and we know you need our full support and resources.

Michelle O'Neill, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister

 

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.