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Government tells agents to shut offices immediately

Propertymark has been told the agents should shut their offices immediately - they are not “essential businesses” under the new Coronavirus safety guidance.

A statement from Propertymark issued this afternoon says: 

"Propertymark has spoken to a senior civil servant at Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Goverment (MHCLG) this morning. 


"The civil servant stated that agents are not 'essential businesses' under the new rules and therefore their view is that agents should close their offices immediately.

"Furthermore, they stated that there should not be any in-person viewings, routine inspections or house moves.

"MHCLG is still looking into property maintenance tasks such as gas safety checks and hopes to issue guidance on these points as soon as possible.

 "In a further development, British Association of Removers (BAR) has issued communications this morning instructing members that moves should only be completed if they are already underway, any move that has not yet started, should not go ahead. 

"Propertymark will keep members up to date later today and as any further information becomes available."

  • Stephen Chipp

    That's fine asour offices are closed but our payments run from one PC (we are an independent letting agent) and we cannot remote access to pay through Barclays.net - what do we do? Can the accounts department - one member of staff - go in? We cannot not pay our clients when we do receive rent!

    Matthew Payne

    No good to you now I know, but many payment systems are now accessed remotely, Im not sure whether you have this facility. I used Bottomline technologies which then had a segway to Lloyds where the client acct was held. My client acct posted all rents remotely through our CRM/Lloyds Acct, reset floats, allocated funds to contractors etc and then sent me the payment run by email and set it up in the system, I logged on from my laptop wherever I was and used my card and card reader to check and make the payment. We simply needed to download the software on to each laptop that might need to get involved in the process.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Just yet another example of Govt NOT Understanding the PRS, yet wading in with their Size 10's all to frequently. !

  • David Bennett

    Accountants can still go to the office, as they are considered 'essential'. Over to you, until the guidance changes.

  • icon

    Our office is Closed (small independent) but we are having 1 member of staff in for an hour or so a day to pay rents and check everything is ok, we have emailed all our clients and tenants saying we can pick up emails from home and have a mobile number they can text if any issues or problems.

  • icon

    I run an independent inventory company in London. At present our clients are still expecting us to attend inventories and check outs. Awaiting clear confirmed guidance from government as to whether this is an "essential" service.


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