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Propertymark reaches out to Government for guidance on Coronavirus

Monday 09 March 2020

On the back of ongoing concerns in the sector regarding the Coronavirus, David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive raises and presses the concerns of Propertymark to the UK Government in expectation of guidance.

David Cox raised the question of whether the Government will issue guidance for the sector on how to deal with the Coronavirus situation or whether it will at least step in should local authorities start prosecuting landlords when landlords are powerless to act.

David used the following example to explain his point: “If a tenant were to have the virus or be in a period of self-isolation, what happens if something goes wrong in the property (for example the boiler stops working). The landlord/ agent /contractor will not go in to avoid contracting the disease and spreading the pandemic.

“However, that means there is a tenant with no hot water or heating for two weeks (or longer if the Government extends the period of self-isolation). This puts the landlord / agent in breach of Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (duty to maintain property etc.), any selective/ additional /mandatory licensing conditions, Homes Act 2019, Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) under Housing Act 2004 and open them up to unlimited liability and/ or a Banning Order.”

David also raised Propertymark’s concerns regarding the consequential impact the virus will have on agents and landlords when getting themselves ready for the electrical regulations which comes into force in July. He flagged that Government may want to consider relaxing the deadlines to give both the industry and supply chain longer to become compliant.

Propertymark hopes to receive a response on the issues raised soon and will keep the sector informed on any further progress.