ARLA Propertymark has raised the following with Government:
We have asked the Government to solve rent issues so rent continues to flow. To ensure this happens we ask that Government suspend the five weeks Universal Credit (UC) payments and ask that all UC payments are made in full and are paid directly to the properties letting agent/ landlord as soon as a claim made.
2) Right to Rent and Anti-Money Laundering checks
Both Right to Rent and Anti-Money Laundering require face-to-face checks. In order to reduce the spread of the disease, we have asked the Government to suspend them until after the crisis.
3) Electrical and gas safety checks
Again, to avoid the spread of Coronavirus, we are asking the Government to postpone these checks. By doing this, it will enable contractors to stay safe and also gives tenants reassurance that contractors will not have to enter their properties until after the crisis.
The Government needs to clarify the appropriate procedures that should be undertaken by agents and landlords with the best interests of all parties in mind. If, for example, a boiler breaks down in a tenant’s home where someone is self-isolating or has the virus, what steps should tenants, agents, and landlords take to rectify the problem without putting people in risk of catching the virus. Legal obligations under these circumstances can’t be carried out by agents and landlords due to the risk of catching and spreading the virus.
Propertymark is in daily dialogue with officials at MHCLG, the Treasury, the Home Office and the Department of Health to press for the suspension of compliance requirements which involve mandatory face-to-face contact.
We have also written to the Secretary of State for Health, pressing for urgent advice to the sector.
As well as calling for the above, Propertymark asked for comments from members to help better inform both Propertymark and the Government on how Coronavirus is affecting the industry, which will help to push the Government for the answers the sector needs.
We will keep members up to date with any further information as soon as we receive it.