Latest News

Rent controls are not the answer

08 April 2021

On 6 April, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan announced his manifesto ahead of the local elections in May 2021 with some key policy announcements that impact the housing sector, including proposals to introduce rent controls in the private rented sector. Read More...

Rent arrears mediation service information released

08 April 2021

Details of the UK Government’s housing possession mediation service was released yesterday, 7 April 2021, which was initially introduced in February 2021, as part of the current court process for housing possession cases. Read More...

Long term financial plan needed for greener property sector

08 April 2021

The UK Government announced that the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme launched last year will close to new applications on 31 March 2021, twelve months earlier than originally planned. Read More...

COVID-19 restrictions relaxed and financial support announced

01 April 2021

From today, 1 April, restrictions across Northern Ireland have eased further as part of the Executive's roadmap out of lockdown and the Coronavirus Financial Assistance (Business Support) Scheme 2021 was launched on 31 March by the Department of Finance. Read More...

Agents' offices in Wales allowed to open from 12 April

01 April 2021

The Welsh Government has announced today, 1 April, lockdown restrictions will be eased further from Monday 12 April with all remaining non-essential retail and close contact services to reopen, and travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the UK and Common Travel Area will be permitted. Read More...

Got tenants in arrears? PayProp can help you prepare for this new law

31 March 2021

From 4 May 2021 agents could be blocked from charging late fees, compounding interest on missing rent, and taking any enforcement action over debts, thanks to the new Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) Regulations in England and Wales. Read More...

 

Guidance for members unchanged as England moves to next stage of roadmap

Monday 29 March 2021

From Monday 29 March the UK Government will start to ease lockdown restrictions on social contact, business and activities, and travel in England. Whilst there will be no changes to safety guidance for the property sector, Propertymark is reviewing the guidance that has supported members to work safely and given the UK Government the confidence to allow agents to keep working throughout lockdown.

England

The main headline changes to social restrictions include permission for outdoor gatherings of either six people (rule of six) or two households; the opening of outdoor sports facilities; and the end of the ‘stay at home’ rule in England, although people will still be encouraged to work from home where possible and minimise the number of journeys they make.

As there will be no change to safety guidance affecting the property sector, it is vital that businesses and individuals continue to comply with the UK Government guidance. This is particularly important because, as more people receive their vaccination, parties to residential viewings are increasingly questioning the need for restrictions, particularly on rules such as wearing masks and social distancing during property viewings.

Wales

Although no roadmap has been published, the Welsh Government has outlined a short-term timetable.

On 27 March the ‘stay local’ rules were lifted alongside unrestricted travel within Wales’s borders, with self-contained tourist accommodation - including many hotels and cottages – now able to open. However, travel to and from other UK nations will be banned for at least another two weeks.

Six people from two households can meet up outside and organised outdoor activities and sports can resume, while limited openings of outdoor open areas, such as historical places & gardens, are permitted.

From 12 April Welsh Ministers are expecting to ease more restrictions.

Scotland

In Scotland four people of up to two households can meet outside, with outdoor non-contact sports and organised group exercise permitted. Communal worship is also now allowed with up to 50 attending (if it is possible to incorporate social distancing).

The next step is for the stay at home rule to become ‘stay local’ on 2 April. On 5 April, more businesses will be able to re-open and all school pupils can go back between the 12 April. Towards the end of the month, from 26 April, there will be a return to the ‘levels’ system of local restrictions, with travel within mainland Scotland permitted. There will also be a wider opening-up of the economy and further loosening of the restrictions on social gathering.

Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish Executive will ease restrictions from 1 April, when people can meet for exercise in groups of up to 10 from two households. Golf and other outdoor sporting activities can resume (although clubhouses and sports facilities must stay closed) and up to six people from two households can meet in a private garden. Garden centres will be able to operate click-and-collect services.

From 12 April, remaining school year groups 8-11 return and the stay at home message is expected to be relaxed. All other non-essential retail can operate click-and-collect and sports training with up to 15 people can resume. Up to 10 people from two households will be able to meet in a private garden.

Propertymark guidance on working safely

Propertymark’s guidance overlays UK Government guidelines for the sector and is tailored to help our members. 

This guidance is continually reviewed against input from Propertymark regional member representatives, taking account of the latest changes announced by the UK Government as well as those of the devolved nations and we are committed to keeping members updated.

We also continue to work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to ensure that the property sector has a voice in shaping what agents are allowed to do.

Further resources from Propertymark

Visit our website to access the latest guidance and advice on working during the pandemic. This includes the financial support available for landlords, renters and homeowners and best practice when working from home.

We also have a dedicated page containing guidance on house moves and viewings whilst adhering to the restrictions. This includes tips and guidance on listing properties and viewings, taking into account the rules in different regions of the UK. You can also visit our YouTube channel to watch a video containing top tips for conducting property viewings safely.

Member Representatives are actively feeding into our work, ensuring that we listen to member’s concerns. To feed in please contact your Regional Representative.

Quote mark

While it’s good news that we’re moving to a new phase of lockdown, it's important agents continue to observe the restrictions. As members of the public are vaccinated, questions are being raised about the rules meaning the property industry has a crucial role to play.

We’ll continue to keep members updated and I urge you to review the guidance to ensure you’re up to date.

Angela Davey

Angela Davey
ARLA Propertymark President