Campaign leads to PRS support

Following repeated calls and lobbying from Propertymark and other organisations, the UK Government announced on 23 October a £65 million support package for councils in England to aid low-income earners in rent arrears in the private rented sector to help to prevent homelessness.

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The money will be available through the winter months and tenants at risk of eviction or homelessness will be able to contact their local authority to access the support, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Payments are likely to be paid directly to the existing landlord, or a new landlord if the money is being used to support a household to find a new home.

Propertymark is engaging with the UK Government to make sure Local Authorities have the relevant guidance to support them when deciding which tenants are eligible to receive funding.
Rent arrears

Along with other sector organisations, Propertymark has made repeated calls throughout the pandemic to the UK Government to provide a targeted financial package to help private renters pay off COVID-19 rent arrears to help sustain existing tenancies and keep renters in their homes.

  • Oct 2021 – Propertymark representation for Budget and Spending Review
  • August 2021 – joint statement on cut to Universal Credit and freeze to Local Housing Allowance
  • June 2021 – joint letter sent to Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing on a financial support package for renters
  • May 2021 – joint briefing from housing and advice organisations sent to MPs 
  • Feb 2021 – joint statement on tackling the rent debt crisis released 
  • Jan 2021– Propertymark Budget representation 
  • Nov 2020 – Propertymark respond to the Housing Committee’s inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on the private rented sector
  • Oct 2020 – letter sent to Financial Times on changes to furlough and mortgage deferrals for landlords
  • May 2020 – Propertymark submit views to the Housing Committee’s inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on the private rented sector 
  • April 2020 – Propertymark calls for Governments to back Property Sector Support Package
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Covid-19 support

Since the coronavirus pandemic erupted, we have been working with government departments and politicians to ensure that our members get the support they need, and the property sector can operate safely. 

Propertymark has also highlighted key areas to the Chancellor, ahead of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, to urge action developing a private renting sustainment and support programme to further prevent debt, homeless and enhance affordable housing for those displaced by the pandemic. Plus, adequately resource and reform the existing courts' system to handle the volume of possession hearings following the stay on evictions and extension to notice periods.

This is good news for renters and good news for letting agents and their landlords. Many organisations including Propertymark have been calling for a package of financial support for months and this money will go some way in helping to sustain tenancies and preventing potential homelessness. Agents should now ensure that any tenants who are in arrears are directed immediately to their local authority for advice and support.
Timothy Douglas
Timothy Douglas Policy and Campaigns Manager | Propertymark
As an agent we know how many tenants have been struggling. Many landlords have worked with agents to find payment plans, renegotiate, mediate and do their best to find solutions to the financial difficulties being faced. This is a great relief for agents, landlords and tenants alike and we are very grateful to Mr Gove and his department for listening to Propertymark and others and taking steps which show their understanding of the value of the private rented sector.
Maxine Fothergill
Maxine Fothergill ARLA Propertymark President | Propertymark