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Agents have one week to submit Corona views to MPs’ investigation

Agents and other property professionals have a week to submit their views to an enquiry into the impact of Coronavirus on the private rental sector.

The enquiry has been set ups by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee in Parliament; its terms of reference include examining how effective UK government support has been in helping individuals in the private rented sector during the crisis. 

The Committee invites written evidence and in particular the committee is interesting in finding out:


- how effective has the support provided by MHCLG and other Government departments in addressing the impact of Coronavirus on those in the private rented sector, rough sleepers, and the homeless?

- what problems remain a current and immediate concern for these groups?

- what might be the immediate post-lockdown impacts for these groups, and what action is needed to help with these?

The committee chairman, Labour MP Clive Betts, says: “It is vital that those in precarious living situations are supported by the Government. We must ensure that people without homes and those sleeping rough are protected during this health crisis. 

“Equally, people cannot be forced to leave their homes at a time when finding a new place to live simply is not possible.

“However, we must also look at what will happen a month from now and beyond. Where will those currently housed in hotels go when the [current] scheme expires? What happens in three months’ time when the eviction ban lapses for people who have no job and now owe three months’ rent?”

Evidence must be submitted by next Friday, May 1 2020. 

The committee expects to hold an evidence session in early May onwards to hear directly from some of those submitting evidence about what is being done and what further support is needed.

You can read the committee’s full call for evidence here.

  • icon

    Waste of time. The Gov't will not be in the slightest bit interested as their mind has been made up and this is just playing lip service to all those involved in the sector.
    How much notice has been paid to all the complaints about changes in the sector so far. Easy to answer this as it is NIL.

    S l
    • S l
    • 25 April 2020 11:06 AM

    The fact that they only give them ONE week shows how important it is for them to have their views. But the government have to show that they did take the prs into account. Well how about no interest charged for the 3 months mortgage holiday? How about 80% furlough for empty properties that we cant rent out due to the pandemic due to lock down and not to move house? Less tax

  • icon

    “…the committee is interesting in finding out how effective the support provided by MHCLG in addressing the impact of Coronavirus on those in the PRS…”

    What support? Seriously…what support are they referring to?

  • Barry X

    This once again shows how much they hate us and want to crush us.... one WEEK? And at a time like this when many agency business are either shut (if small) or working from home with very limited resources and difficulty doing anything quickly, especially if like this it might require a lot of management collaboration.

    Also - I totally agree with "Retired Agent's" comment above. This is just a box ticking exercise and they want to send out as many "consultations" questionnaires as possible and rig it so they get the fewest number of responses (to "prove" we don't care and are not interested in our own livelihoods) and also any responses they do get - no matter how carefully and fully written, and well supported with evidence, and written with energy and true passion - they will IGNORE anyhow!!!!

    Last time I naively wasted my time responding to one of these things was years ago when councils reduced their "allowance" of 6 months for empty/untenanted properties to 2 WEEKS, before quickly abolishing it altogether so now we must pay from the day our tenant movers out, and ironically a single person living there gets 25% discount but no people must pay more!!!

    The questionnaire I was sent was all rigged and loaded questions such as "do you think that landlords should contribute more to support the poorest and most vulnerable people in their communities" to which of course I replied "no" just as everyone else I know did because that's not our job anymore than providing emergency surgery on our desks for road accident victims - even if they crashed right outside our windows. The lying/dishonest response from the council? They reported a poor response from agents and landlords suggesting those who did not reply "were comfortable with the proposal so didn't see the need". For the rest, including me, we were apparently all "comfortable with the proposal but had a number of useful suggestions to make, most of which will be applied"!!!!!

    By the way... speaking of the complete abolition of the perfectly fair, much needed and besides promised "forever" c/tax exemption..... as we all know, we don't WANT empty properties, we want them tenanted and earning us money, but sometimes we used to plan to keep them empty after the end of the current tenancy so we could carry out renovations - now as a result of no "allowance" we do far less renovations and try to work around tenants while they are still living there and paying the bloody tax - jolly inconvenient for them but there it is.

    When invented/introduced by the Thatcher government in 1992 we were told the c/tax would only EVER apply when people are living there using local services provided by the council, NEVER for empty properties... this was to assuage the anger of the population - some of whom actually rioted - in response the the Poll Tax proposals, then hastily ditched...

    For a few years this promise of an ONLY for occupied properties was honoured, then it was reduced to a single year of empty unoccupied status exemption (and pay normally after that), then six month and then, very briefly a piffling 2-weeks only, before being completely abolished.

    Did you know that if the property is empty for any reason for OVER a year, then even though you've been paying the full rate of c/tax from the day you tenant moved out, there is now a SURCHARGE - typically of 50% on top (but can vary from council to council) - and they plan to steadily reduce that "allowance" of one year before the nasty, greedy "surcharge" kicks in, in stages to a "surcharge" from the day our tenant moves out, THEN RISING to an even greedier larger "surcharge" after one year of paying the first tier "surcharge" - a dispicable disgrace but not many klnow about it yet and the feeble NRLA with mumble a bit then agree is manageable rather than mobilise us to fight it to the bitter end for the government who we can and SHOULD force to ditch it (they gave councils the power and should take it away as its horrible, damaging, immoral and will further harm our businesses). The council's bogus claim to try and justify this greedy fleece-the-landlord-even-more policy? Well, its to "encourage" us "to bring the property back into use" when that's normally exactly what we are working hard to do anyhow, e.g by rebuilding it or maybe solving a complex legal problem...

    We live in a lousy but once great country now long run by incompetent, greedy, ignorant, self-interested politicians and bigoted people who think (totally incorrectly) we are all at least wealthy
    in not dammed rich and can pay for anything; they only have to ask or bully us to take it from us.

    We MUST start to fight back. We are potentially an enormous threat and force and properly mobilised and organised we should be perfectly able to reverse most if not all of the incremental damage these morons have caused, then be taken seriously, respected and treated more carefully (with proper consultations from real professionals, not hard-left leaning lobby groups l;like Shelter - who are NOT really a "charity" for the "homeless" anymore but something totally different and quite nasty).

    That's it - thanks for reading this characteristically long post.

  • icon
    • 24 April 2020 15:06 PM

    In way of mitigation my properties are ALWAYS occupied.
    Sometimes by tenants with funny Eastern European names.
    Can't tell you the numbers of those who have abandoned the property.
    Of course I always advise the Council when they move in so as to ensure that SPD is applied.

    When I contact the Council to advise of new occupants usually with British sounding names I never have any idea of a forwarding address for my Eastern European occupant.

    All I have is a scrappy note left by the former tenant advising that Sorry they have had to leave and the keys are in the mailbox.
    Sometimes these Eastern Europeans have been there for months.
    I doubt any of them ever paid any Council Tax.
    I will never know because of course I returned all unopened mail to the sender.
    There are ways and ways!

    S l
    • S l
    • 25 April 2020 21:01 PM

    Just to let you know last year, there was something about wessex water charging landlord if didnt give the utility company the forwarding address for tenants.


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