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ARLA Propertymark calls for Government Guidance on the Private-Rented Sector

Mon 23 March 2020

The Association of Residential Letting Agents, known as ARLA Propertymark, has called upon the Government to provide clarification and guidance to agents and those working in the sector.

The following subjects have been raised for comment :

1) RENT

The Government has been asked to address rent issues to ensure that rents can be paid. ARLA Propertymark has suggested Government suspends the five weeks Universal Credit (UC) payments and requests that UC payments paid in full directly to the landlord or their letting agent as soon as a case has been validated.

2) RIGHT TO RENT AND ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING CHECKS

Because Right to Rent and Anti-Money Laundering checks have to be carried out in-person, it has been suggested that the checks are temporarily suspended.

3) ELECTRICAL SAFETY INSPECTIONS AND GAS SAFETY CHECKS

It has been recommended that the Government postpone these checks allowing contractors and tenants to stay safe.

4) PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

There has been a call for clarification on appropriate procedures that should be followed by managing agents and landlords.  There are concerns, for example, if a boiler breaks down in a rented property where a tenant is self-isolating or has the virus. There needs to be guidance as to the process agents and landlords should follow to avoid putting tenants or contractors at risk. There are concerns that legal obligations cannot be fulfilled due to the risk of catching and spreading the virus.

Landlords and their agents are encouraged to keep records of conversations with tenants concerning rental payments and maintenance and we will update our clients with the latest advice as soon as it has been published.

We have robust plans in place that we review on a daily basis, as the situation develops. We are following Government advice and our office network remains open and operational, supported by staff working remotely.

Our clients can continue to contact us as normal and we will continue to deliver the high level of service that you expect and is required of us to service our management responsibilities. Please do get in touch if you have any concerns or questions www.rhrwclutton.com/staff .

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