Latest News

Change smoke and carbon rules for earlier checks

19 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on extending the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations in England, arguing that the rules should be amended so that landlords and agents must make sure the alarms are tested prior to the start of the tenancy and not on the first day of each new tenancy. Read More...

Licensing schemes are irresponsible in the current climate

19 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to a number of licensing scheme proposals from local authorities across England in recent months arguing that Councils who are pursuing the implementation of licensing schemes are being socially irresponsible. This is because in these unprecedented times landlords and agents are not able to comply with the requirements and Council resources are unlikely to be able to effectively enforce them. Read More...

The Letting Partnership commend agents on the crucial service they provide

19 January 2021

Propertymark Industry Supplier, The Letting Partnership, a specialist provider of client accounting and Client Money Protection services, outlines why letting agents should stand proud as we begin 2021and take stock of the vital role they perform during the challenges presented by the pandemic. Read More...

First ever Wrongful Termination Order granted

18 January 2021

A landlord has been penalised for evicting a tenant on wrongful grounds by the Housing & Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (FTS) by awarding its first Wrongful Termination Order. Read More...

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...

Scottish Government advice for agents

Friday 27 March 2020

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

The guidance, issued today, 27 March, contains answers to questions to help agents and landlords through the COVID-19 crisis. Other helpful information is outlined below.

EVICTIONS

The Government is asking that no landlord evicts a tenant who has suffered financial hardship during this period. However, they are aiming to share messages to make sure those who can pay the rent do, and that there is nobody playing the system.

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Scotland Bill will introduce temporary changes to eviction procedures for properties in the Private Rented Sector and Social Housing sector. As soon as we have further information on the Bill, we will share it with members.

Agents and landlords should direct any tenants concerned about paying their rent to the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) and claim Universal Credit (UC). If they are already claiming UC and are still struggling to pay, they may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

MOVE-INS AND PROPERTY INSPECTIONS

Current advice clearly advises against all non-essential travel and direct contact with everyone. The Scottish Government recognise it is important to avoid anyone being homeless at this time and tenants should be moved in where a tenancy has already been agreed or where it is considered absolutely necessary, housing key workers would be a prime example.

Face-to-face contact should be limited where possible. In cases where it is essential then the relevant distancing and hygiene measures must be followed.

SAFETY CERTIFICATES AND PROPERTY REPAIRS

The legal obligation to provide all relevant safety certificates and for properties to meet the repairing standard remain in place. Agents and landlords must make all reasonable efforts to abide by these regulations.

In the event agents or landlords cannot get access to the property detailed records of dates and all communication to tenants and contractors must be kept and noted if COVID-19 is the reason.

Tenants are encouraged to keep agents and landlords informed of any required repairs or problems, always keeping in mind social distancing and safety obligations and are asked to use technology to disclose issues to the agent or landlord, such as smartphones.

View the latest guidance from the Health and Safety Executive aimed at landlords and Gas Safe engineers.

MORTGAGE PAYMENTS

Most mortgage borrowers will have a three-month payment holiday facility; however, the Scottish Government is working with UK Finance to try and have this extended to six months.

GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND GRANTS

The UK Government announced several schemes to support businesses with paying wages and accessing grants and cost-effective loans to ensure that businesses that were viable prior to the Coronavirus crisis, will continue to be viable afterward.

Scottish businesses can now apply for grants and assistance with rates relief to help them deal with the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The one-off grants are designed to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery, and more than 90,000 ratepayers across Scotland will be able to benefit.

FIRST TIER TRIBUNAL

The Housing and Property Chamber First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland will not be sitting now until 28 May 2020.

SCOTTISH FEDERATION OF HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS (SFHA)

The SFHA has produced briefings to help housing associations and co-operatives, the information is useful for the sector as a whole and covers: Health Protection Scotland advice; personal protective equipment (PPE); safe access to the property; safety checks and repairs; when to deep clean a property; housing support services.

Propertymark webinar

Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark Strategic Development Manager will host a webinar on 8 April to discuss the latest guidance and provide further other updates.

Register

Propertymark is engaging with Governments and politicians at all levels as part of our #KeepTheRentFlowing campaign and is providing guidance to agents on their legal obligations in light of COVID-19.