Latest News

TDS – How to reduce pet-related tenancy deposit disputes

27 November 2020

Sandy Bastin, Head of Adjudication Services at Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), discusses the debate on whether owners and agents should allow tenants to keep pets in private rented properties given the spike in pet ownership since the Coronavirus pandemic began. Read More...

Consultation on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

26 November 2020

The Government has opened a consultation on mandatory installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in England. While the consultation, which closes on 11 January 2021, primarily focuses on social housing it also covers aspects of the private rented sector and is an opportunity to make the case for reform of existing regulations, where they could be improved. Read More...

More work needed on Building Safety Bill in order to protect leaseholders

25 November 2020

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee released their report on the draft Building Safety Bill this week outlining their concerns that the draft does not do enough to protect leaseholders. Read More...

Homes moves guidance from the Scottish Government

Friday 20 November 2020

From today, 20 November, certain areas in Scotland have moved into Level 3 and Level 4 measures, and whilst home moves and other activities related to the property market can continue, they must be carried out safely, referring to the guidance at all times.

Level 4 is the highest protection level in which maximum restrictions are introduced to provide a short, sharp response to quickly suppress the virus. These measures are designed to be in place for a short period of time and delaying visits to people’s homes should be considered.

At Level 4 of Scotland's Strategic Framework widespread community transmission means that although people can work in other people’s homes, this should only be to provide essential services, which can include supporting a home move. Importantly, this is only if the person working is well and is not showing Coronavirus symptoms and neither they nor any of their household is self-isolating. People must also adhere to the physical distancing regulations and guidance.

Home moves are permitted

Businesses can also continue to support people to move home in all areas, following relevant guidance, including the Scottish Government’s latest guidance for employers and businesses on COVID-19.

Tradespeople

Work carried out in people’s homes can continue, as long as the guidance on business and physical distancing is followed, providing the tradesperson is well and not showing Coronavirus symptoms and neither they nor any of their household is self-isolating.

In areas at Level 4, tradespeople can continue to work in other people’s homes, but should only provide essential services including urgent repairs and maintenance, and work to support a home move, for example, furniture removal. The latest Scottish Government guidance on physical distancing and hygiene should be followed, referring to the general guidance for safer workplaces. 

The PRS

Visits by letting agents and landlords, can continue, as long as the guidance on business and physical distancing are followed, providing the person visiting is well and is not showing Coronavirus symptoms and neither they nor any of their household is self-isolating.

In areas at Level 4, housing services are still essential services, and work in other people’s homes should only be undertaken if it cannot be delayed and appropriate safety measures can be implemented. The list is not exhaustive but essential services might include gas and safety electrical checks, for example.

Advice to businesses

All businesses should follow the Scottish Government’s latest guidance for employers and businesses on COVID-19 and other relevant guidance including Health Protection Scotland (HPS) COVID-19 information and guidance for general (non-healthcare) settings. Remote working remains the default position for those who can. The Scottish Government has also produced general safer workplaces guidance which covers offices.