Latest News

Discretion in Scottish COVID-19 grant scheme means eligible agencies should get help

04 June 2020

The Scottish Government has responded to concerns raised by Propertymark on behalf of its members, following reports that some Scottish agents had been denied access to business support schemes when local authorities declared the grant is not available to their sector. Read More...

How agents can help vulnerable tenants during self-isolation

03 June 2020

Some tenants who are self-isolating because they are higher risk may face other challenges apart from the direct risk and impact of the virus, Agents are a key part of local communities and can provide housing and support to those in need. Read More...

Greater flexibility built into Job Retention Scheme

01 June 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Friday 29 May, changes to the Job Retention Scheme (commonly known as the Furlough Scheme). Read More...

Post pandemic plan: Agents must be clear communicators to confront virus fears

Friday 15 May 2020

With the property market now open for business in England, agents may find themselves dealing with not only tenants eager to get out there and find a property but current tenants who are wary of inviting people into their home.

What can agents do to help allay tenants' fears?

Understand their viewpoint

After two months of lockdown, and with no vaccine yet forthcoming, it’s not unreasonable for someone to feel nervous about letting strangers into their home. Agents can play a crucial community role here, in understanding and mitigating worries.

Communicate clearly and proactively

Be proactive and transparent in your communications with clients. Agents returning to work will have adapted their business practices to reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission. It may be that fully communicating the steps that your business has taken is enough to allay any fears.

Agents that have followed the 'Propertymark operating checklist' will be able to prove that they have:

  • Put distancing measures into their offices 
  • Trained their team in how to handle social distancing, new business practices, and new safety measures
  • Made sure their staff are safe and well 
  • Conducted customer due diligence checks in advance
  • Used virtual viewings to narrow any in-person viewings to serious customers only 
  • Communicated clearly with potential buyers on social distancing during viewings

Where you do ultimately need to tell a potential tenant that an occupant will not accept a viewing at the current time, explain:

‘The occupant has asked that all viewings are held in abeyance until [the relevant date]. We are continuing to update them about your interest and we will ensure that you have access under our new safety procedures at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, we have virtual viewing for the inside and the exterior rear of the property. If you have any particular questions or requests for footage please let us know. I look forward to keeping you updated.’

Take any necessary action

Remember, no viewing should take place if an agent, occupant or potential tenant is isolating or displaying COVID-19 symptoms, however mild and the Government guidance around viewings must be adhered to in all circumstances.


If a tenant has specific concerns that are easily addressed within the scope of your new socially distanced business practices, be sure to do this promptly. Property agents are already experts in taking care of their customers’ needs – handling these concerns is just a further step into the 'new normal'.

PROPERTYMARK CHECKLIST

Propertymark created the checklist in line with the Government’s current property industry guidance (as of 13 May) to support agents through the COVID-19 pandemic while adhering to the social distancing guidelines. The checklist is designed to help pose relevant questions and support compliance while observing the requirements necessary to carry out duties.

View the checklist