After the invasion of Ukraine, the UK Government took steps to address growing concerns of money laundering and other economic crime from Russian and foreign entities operating in the UK or with UK companies. This led to the introduction of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act in March 2022.
The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has published findings following a public dialogue, with simplicity, keeping control of personal data and robust complaints procedures emerging as key issues for digital identity services.
The new year has arrived and those who had delayed moving at the end of last year have returned to the market on mass. However, there has been little change in the economic environment that households must contend with. Interest rates are stable but are higher than those seeking mortgages or re-mortgages would prefer and inflation remains some way off UK Government targets.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a report on housebuilding and found the dominance of speculative private development paired with complex, unpredictable planning rules is the major cause of the long-term shortfall of new homes in the UK.
Email and secure messaging are HMRC’s main means of contacting agents about their AML supervision. They provide regular updates and alerts to support compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations and notifications if an account requires action or needs to be reviewed, so it is crucial that contact email addresses are kept up to date.
Sellers bypassing the introducing agent in a sale costs the industry an estimated £4bn a year in lost fees. But what can agencies do to get their hard-earned commission back? Find out more in this issue and do we need more regulation or just better enforcement? We asked industry stakeholders to contribute their thoughts on issues affecting our members.
The UK Government is currently consulting on the implementation of Awaab’s Law, which was passed in response to the tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in December 2020 from exposure to serious mould in his parents’ social rented home.
Homeowners are surrounded by messages about the urgency of taking green measures in their properties, and insulation should be a high priority. However, mortgage lenders are increasingly taking a zero-tolerance approach to spray foam insulation and are declining applications.
From 1 March over 200 new members from across the Belvoir Group will become Propertymark Protected, enhancing their existing commitments to honesty, transparency, professionalism and going the extra mile for their clients. We are delighted that Belvoir recognises and values the growing consumer recognition of Propertymark Protection, which eligible members display in branches and on websites.
The UK Government wants to improve the transparency of land ownership involving trusts, which will prevent unnecessary barriers to the sales process. Propertymark generally supports these efforts that will ensure agents can effectively help money laundering and economic crime in the UK property market. Agents, however, must be included in the list of professionals who can access the enhanced ownership details.
Reducing wasted energy is one of the ways individuals can permanently reduce energy bills, contribute to net zero targets, and reduce the UK’s dependence on imported gas. However, two-thirds of households did nothing to improve the energy efficiency of their homes in 2023 because of prohibitive upfront costs.
The Consumer Code for Home Builders has produced a new code compliance starter kit for agents and home builders, in partnership with Propertymark which is now available to download.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) reports applications to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme were 49% higher in December 2023 compared to the same month in 2022, but without mandatory targets, there is little sign yet that energy-efficient homes in the UK command higher prices.
A prevention of future deaths report criticising the location of a prepayment electricity meter has been issued following the death of an elderly woman in her council flat. Property agents do not have any formal responsibility regarding the location of energy meters, however it is sensible to know where to signpost tenants who need support, information or resources.
Reports, originating in The Independent newspaper, that the UK Government is considering a 1% deposit mortgage scheme as part of the March 2024 Budget may feel like a solution for those struggling to get their foot on the housing ladder. But the housing sector is sounding a note of caution about the potential impact on prices if more stock is not made available.
Proposals have been laid in the Scottish Parliament for the transition away from the rent cap and eviction moratorium under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022, which ends on 31 March 2024. We acknowledge that provisions to prevent rents rising to a level that will cause hardship to some tenants are justified, however, the Scottish Government must provide more detail about how the transition measures will be applied.