Latest News

Surge in the number of prospective tenants seeking properties

26 February 2021

ARLA Propertymark’s first Private Rented Sector Report covering January shows the number of new prospective tenants rose by more than 27 per cent compared to December 2020 indicating no sign of demand slowing down. Read More...

Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill introduced

24 February 2021

The Welsh Government has announced the introduction of the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill which extends the minimum notice period from two to six months alongside other new provisions and will be implemented before the end of its current Assembly (May 2021). Read More...

Landlord case makes legal history

24 February 2021

A Wales based landlord pleaded guilty to harassing a tenant, which is the first time a case of this nature has been brought to the Crown Court and received a six-month jail term suspended for two years. Read More...

Property expert Nathan Emerson becomes Interim CEO of Propertymark

24 February 2021

The Board of Propertymark has asked Nathan Emerson to assume the role of Interim CEO with immediate effect. Nathan’s appointment will provide great stability for the organisation, its staff and its members and will ensure that the operational delivery of its new and exciting strategy is taken forward. Read More...

Increased asymptomatic testing for anyone unable to work from home

23 February 2021

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is expanding asymptomatic COVID-19 testing which will be available for workforces via two different routes: either the workplace or community testing. Read More...

Landlord awarded £16,000 in damages by First-tier Tribunal in Scotland

23 February 2021

The Scottish First-tier Tribunal has ordered two letting agents to pay £16,000 compensation to their former landlord client after their activities were found to be unregistered and in breach of code. Read More...

Spring Budget 2020 - lifetime deposits, cladding, AML and more

Monday 16 March 2020

New Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has delivered a range of measures affecting the property industry in his first budget.

The Government’s proposals stated that they are committed to improving access to safe and high-quality housing, improving affordability and putting in place measures so that all homes are built properly with the right materials and that residents, whether they are home owners or renters, have access to a simple and consumer-friendly process for making complaints.

No fault evictions

The Government set out it's ambitions for improving security for tenants which included continuing their work in abolishing the use of ‘no fault evictions.

Lifetime deposits

The budget sets out plans for a new ‘lifetime tenancy deposit’ to support good landlords.

Quote mark

I want everyone, no matter where they live, to have access to affordable, safe, quality housing and live in communities with a real sense of place – as part of our mission to level up, unite and unleash the potential of this country.

We must think boldly and creatively about the planning system to make it fit for the future, and this is just the first step, so we can deliver the homes communities need and help more young people onto the ladder.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

Economic crime levy

It didn’t make it into the chancellor’s main speech, but the ‘red book’ budget documents show that the government intends to introduce a levy – to be paid by firms subject to the Money Laundering Regulations – to help tackle money laundering and deliver the reforms in the Economic Crime Plan.

The levy will be additional to ongoing public sector funding, and the government will publish a consultation on the levy later this year.

Affordable housing and homelessness

The Budget sets out an ambitious package of investment to build high-quality affordable homes. This includes £12.2 billion for the Affordable Homes Programme and £400 million for Mayoral Combined Authorities and local areas to establish housing on brownfield land.

A £650 million rough sleepers fund will support people into permanent accommodation.

Cladding

A £1 billion Building Safety Fund will support the removal of unsafe combustible cladding. The fund will cover all types of cladding, not just ACM, on private and social buildings 18 metres and above. The funding is additional to the £600 million already made available for ACM removal. 

Business and infrastructure

The chancellor announced a £175 billion boost for infrastructure projects.

Entrepreneurs Relief’s lifetime limit will be reduced from £10 million to £1 million.

Flooding

£120 million will be allocated for repairing all damage caused by winter floods. A further £200 million will go directly to local communities experiencing repeated flooding for flood resilience.  Investment in flood defences will double over the next six years.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

It is no surprise that plans for combating the spread of coronavirus took a prominent place in the speech. Much of this is not housing-specific but may benefit both smaller agencies and anyone whose tenants still need to pay them rent. 

SUPPORTING BUSINESSES THROUGH COVID-19

  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the Government will fund Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in full for two weeks – worth £2 billion.
  • Any firm that is currently eligible for the small business rates relief can apply for a £3,000 cash grant.
  • A coronavirus business interruption loan scheme will be introduced to cover the cost of salaries and bills. Loans of up to £1.2 million will support small and medium-sized businesses.

SUPPORTING TENANTS TO PAY THEIR RENT DURING COVID-19

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from Day One (instead of Day Four) of any sick leave. 
  • SSP will be available for anyone advised to self-isolate, fit/sick notes will be available from NHS 111 with no need to travel to a doctor.
  • Those on Contributory Employment Support Allowance can claim from Day One instead of Day Eight.
  • Benefit claimants will not be required to attend Job Centres in person to claim, this can be done over the phone or online.
  • A £500 million hardship fund will be available for distribution via local authorities.

OTHER SUPPORT FOR TENANTS IN GENERAL

  • National Living wage 6.2 per cent increase – to reach 2/3 of median earnings by 2024
  • National Insurance threshold up from £8,632 to £9,500 from 2020/21 - giving 31 million people a tax cut, saving a typical employee £104.