8:13 AM, 7th May 2020, About A year ago 3
ARLA Propertymark has made its submission to the inquiry for the impact of Coronavirus on homelessness and the PRS. Click here
Of Particular concern to Property118 readers is the still planned introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks starting 1st July with ARLA calling for the government to suspend their introduction.
ARLA said: “With the added complications of Coronavirus, the supply chain capacity issues have got significantly worse, and therefore, the Government should suspend the introduction until such time as it is possible for the industry to practically implement the legislation.”
They also requested a review and update guidance on maintenance and safety checks commenting that: “70% of agents who Propertymark surveyed said that the Government’s guidance on what to do for compliance checks during the outbreak is clear and helpful.
“However, agents are facing problems getting routine maintenance and safety checks at the properties they manage completed. Agents and landlords want to do the best by their tenants and are understandably nervous about falling foul of regulations and therefore, we ask the Government to review and update the guidance already issued.”
Post lockdown ARLA is also calling for:
“More support on rent payments
Survey results from Propertymark members show that nearly all have said that up to a quarter of their tenants have missed a rental payment since the Coronavirus outbreak. Consequently, three things need to happen to further assist renters. Firstly, more needs to be done to explain the support available from the Government. Secondly, the Government must suspend the five weeks Universal Credit payment period with all payments made in full and paid directly to the letting agent or landlord. Thirdly, for those tenants who fall through the gaps in the Government’s current provisions should be able to apply for their rent to be paid via Universal Credit.
Postpone the introduction of all licensing schemes
Members are alarmed that a number of Councils are ignoring guidance issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which says that where local authorities are in the process of introducing non-mandatory licensing schemes, but these are not yet in force, they should consider pausing these at an appropriate point, in line with the advice on proactive and reactive work. The Government must ensure local authorities postpone the introduction of all licensing schemes until the market can recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Separate rent arrears before and during the pandemic
Propertymark’s survey figures from members show that for the majority the passing of legislation to delay eviction proceedings has impacted on up to ten tenancies they manage and between ten and 20 tenancies for 13% of agents. Members are concerned about the speed in which cases will be able to be heard in the courts and the backlog of cases from before the Coronavirus Act was passed and those cases lodged during the outbreak and after the restrictions are lifted.”
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