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...

Avoid online scams to keep yourself safe

26 March 2020

New ways of working and potential home distractions mean conditions are perfect for bad actors looking to harvest data. 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.