‘safeagent qualified’ launches

  safeagent has announced a new designation for lettings and management agents who successfully achieve safeagent’s NCFE accredited courses. The new designation, ‘safeagent qualified’ has been specially created for agents who gain the Foundation Lettings Course [England & Wales], the Level 3 Scotland Foundation Lettings Course, or the Level 3 Award in Letting & Property […]

£65 million support package for vulnerable renters

Government have announced a £65million support fund to cover vulnerable renters’ arrears built during the pandemic. Welcoming the news, Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive, said: “From the start of the pandemic safeagent has called for no additional debt for those tenants who are most in need. We are delighted that this support is not in the form of […]

5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

From today, 10 January 2020, all letting agents throughout the UK who manage properties with an individual monthly rental of 10,000 Euros per month (or equivalent) or more must comply with changes in introduced by The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/1511/made/data.pdf The main development these Regulations introduce is the expansion of […]

Additional support to save jobs and businesses

The Chancellor has announced further measures to help business and employers through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This includes: A new coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help any employer in the country to cover most of the wages of employees who aren’t working but are being kept on payroll. This will be a grant […]

Adjusted Right to Rent checks will end on 20 June

Following feedback from letting agents and landlords, the temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to rent checks will now end on 20 June 2021 and not 16 May 2021 as originally announced. From 21 June 2021 landlords will revert to face to face and physical document checks as set out in legislation and guidance. This is aligned with […]

Agents key to supporting tenancies

safeagents say there won’t be widespread evictions and arrears are lower than feared Our latest research shows that with the support of letting agents to help maintain tenancies, safeagent firms do not believe there will be widespread evictions as a result of the pandemic. In a survey of safeagent firms across England, 36% of firms […]

Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021

Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his spending plans in a Budget he said would “prepare the country for a post-Covid age of optimism”. He noted the Government have been more successful in preventing the long-term economic damage of Covid and said unemployment is expected to peak at 5.2% – meaning over two million fewer people […]

Ban on bailiff evictions extended

The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced an extension of the ban on bailiff enforcement of evictions for all but the most serious cases until at least 31 March 2021. Read the announcement in full Exemptions will remain in place for the most serious circumstances, including illegal occupation, false statement, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, where a property is unoccupied following death […]

Budget 2020 – What does it mean for agents?

While the Budget held little for the Private Rented Sector, there were a series of announcements on the wider housing sector, and a number of measures to support individuals and businesses affected by Coronavirus. Housing A new Affordable Homes Programme of £12bn A £1bn Building Safety Fund to remove unsafe cladding £400m for new homes […]

Budget 2021 – What does it mean for the PRS?

Billed as a Budget to boost the economy, today’s statement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak held few surprises. While measures such as the extension to the furlough scheme and continuing £20 uplift to Universal Credit are a welcome support for renters, there was still very little for the private rented sector. Government’s message that it wants […]

Changes to notice periods

Government have today announced the extension of notice periods, with certain exceptions, including anti-social behaviour and domestic violence. In cases of longer term rent arrears, if a tenant has built up a total of six months of arrears, landlords will now only be required to give four weeks’ notice. The legislation comes into force tomorrow […]

Changes to Right to Rent

Legislative changes to the Right to Rent Scheme come into force on 2 November. The Code of practice on right to rent: civil penalty scheme for landlords and their agents has been updated. The legislative changes enable landlords and letting agents to use a new Home Office online checking service, available from 25 November, to undertake right […]

Changes to Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations

Government have confirmed they will make regulations requiring Carbon Monoxide alarms in rooms containing gas appliances (excluding gas cookers) and will also extend the requirement to social housing. Commenting, Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive said: “We welcome the changes, both in the interests of tenant safety and to ensure a consistent application of the same rules […]

Changes to the Model Tenancy Agreement

Government have announced changes to their Model Tenancy Agreement to make it easier for tenants with pets to find landlords who will accept them. Isobel Thomson, safeagent’s Chief Executive, comments: “It makes sense to encourage landlords to offer greater flexibility for tenants and where possible to allow pets. No one should be excluded because they own a pet. […]

Cheering on professional letting agents

This year, 3,000 professional lettings agents across the UK unite for safeagent Awareness Week, 17-21 June 2019. Now in its eighth year, the awareness week celebrates the very best, professional agents in the private rented sector, who work to protect the consumer. safeagent’s focus has always been consumer protection, and it was their seven-year campaign […]

Coronavirus Act 2020 – Government guidance for landlords, tenants & local authorities

Now the Coronavirus Act 2020 is in force, new Government guidance has been published for landlords, tenants and local authorities. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Landlords and Tenants – Read the full guidance here COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the enforcement of standards in rented properties – Read the full Local Authority guidance here The guidance is very […]

Coronavirus advice and support

In these unprecedented times, safeagent wants to support our firms as much as possible. While no one knows what will happen over the coming weeks and months, it’s important to protect your staff, tenants and landlords by ensuring you have plans in place to deal with business interruption. Contingency planning If you have to close your office […]

COVID-19 Home moving guidance updated

In light of the latest lockdown in England, Government have updated their guidance on home moving for both industry and consumers. We know that safeagents are already adhering to Covid-19 safe procedures practices, but it is important to observe this latest guidance. The guidance is extensive and can be read in full here Below are […]

COVID-19: Updates on business rates exemption and house moves

As the Coronavirus outbreak continues, government have today made two key announcements; Business rates exemptions for estate and lettings agencies; and important advice on house moves. Business rates Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that have closed as a result of Covid-19 measures to restrict the spread of the virus will be now be […]

COVID-19’s impact on the PRS – safeagent gives evidence to Committee

We recently submitted evidence to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee into the impact of COVID-19 on homelessness and the PRS. Our submission has a number of recommendations and asks of Government as the PRS enters the next stage of the Coronavirus emergency. These include: Clarify any disinformation about rent payments, re-iterating to tenants that […]

Delay new property licensing schemes

safeagent is calling for new property licensing schemes in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) to be placed on hold to free up resources. In the wake of the Coronavirus, safeagent says licensing schemes not already in force should be delayed now and reviewed again in six months’ time. This approach is two-fold; to ensure focus on […]

Delay to end date for temporary Right to Rent adjustments

The planned end date for temporary adjustments has now been delayed from 20 June to 31 August. This means physical checks will now resume from 1 September 2021. Following the UK Government announcement to delay lifting the remaining lockdown restrictions until 19 July 2021, Government have decided to push the date back for the resumption […]

EPCs and COVID-19 Guidance

Advice has been issued for meeting the regulatory requirement to secure a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on marketing a property during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) advice clarifies that: The legal requirement to obtain an EPC before selling or letting a property remains in place. Where […]

Essential maintenance and repairs – COVID-19 update

Government has now issued guidance regarding maintenance and repairs being carried out in rental properties during the current emergency: Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms. Again, it will be important to ensure that Public […]

Eviction ban extended for two months

Government have announced that the ban on evictions will be extended by two months Responding to the news, Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive said: “While the extension may offer reassurance for some tenants, we know our agents are already working with tenants and landlords to ensure that tenancies can be maintained at this challenging time.  “There has to […]

Eviction ban extended to May 2021

The Government has announced an extension to the ban on bailiff enforcement of evictions and the requirement for landlords to provide six months’ notice when seeking possession of residential property. These measures will be extended to 31 May 2021, to continue to protect public health and minimise the impact on essential public services. Legislation will […]

First guidance issued for easing lockdown

Government guidance issued today, ‘Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’, says that non-essential retail, the sector which lettings and estate agents are currently included in, should be able to open in a phased manner from 1 June 2020, as long these businesses are able to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. […]

FREE training course guides agents through principles of deposit disputes

As part of our mission to support letting agents and raise standards across the private rented sector, we’re proud to have partnered with The Dispute Service (The DPS) to offer a FREE training course which guides letting agents through the key principles of disputes. The course is available for all, not just safeagents. Deposit Disputes […]

Government announces measures to protect renters & landlords affected by Coronavirus

The government has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by Coronavirus. Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis Landlords will also be protected […]

Government announces new protections for renters

The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced extra support to protect rough sleepers and renters from the effects of COVID-19. Renters will continue to be supported during the new national restrictions with an extension of the ban on bailiff enforcement of evictions for all but the most serious cases forat least six weeks –up to the end of 21 February […]

Government cancels Liverpool’s Citywide Licensing Scheme

Responding to the news that Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has rejected an application to keep Liverpool’s Citywide Licensing Scheme in place for another five years, Isobel Thomson, safeagent CEO said: Since its inception, safeagent has been a co-regulation partner to Liverpool City Council’s Citywide Licensing Scheme. We were pleased to be involved in the initiative which […]

Government ends LHA rate freeze

Government have revealed plans to end the four-year freeze to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates. Will Quince, Minister of Welfare Delivery, said Government would be submitting a Bill to Parliament to legislate that after 1 April this year, rates will be raised in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (around 1.5 percent) […]

Government issues practical guidance for agents during the Coronavirus outbreak

Following the Housing Secretary’s announcement that the housing market can reopen in England, Government has now issued guidance with practical advice for both industry and home movers on how to operate safely. Read the guidance in full: ‘Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ The document explains you can open for business but should […]

Government responds to report on protecting rough sleepers and renters

Government have issued their response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s report on protecting rough sleepers and renters. Commenting on the report, Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive, said: “It’s vital that temporary measures put in place to protect homeless people are able to continue. safeagent is pleased to see government’s commitment to ensuring […]

Government responds to Select Committee report into Protecting the homeless & PRS

The Government has published their response to the Select Committee report into Protecting the homeless and the private rented sector. The response gives an outline of what will be in the Renters Reform Bill, including “longer term sector reform and abolishing Section 21” and the commitment to redress which has been left out of previous recent announcements. Commenting, Isobel […]

Government support for landlords and renters during the COVID-19 outbreak

The government has brought forward its package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19): From 26 March 2020 landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start […]

Guidance for Electrical Safety Standards Regulations

From today (1 June 2020), the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 are now in force. The Regulations apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. To accompany the Regulations coming into force, Government have produced specific guidance on the Regulations for landlords, […]

Guidance on the possession action process

Ahead of the resumption of possession cases from September 21st, Government have published guidance on the possession action process. Welcoming the guidance, Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive, safeagent, said: “It’s positive to see this guidance, which actively encourages both tenants and landlords to try and reach agreement to avoid getting to the eviction stage. Eviction is always the […]

Have your say on property listings info

National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) is working with input from property portals and industry bodies to explore how they can make it easier for agents to provide more material information in property listings. This will provide greater clarity and consistency for agents across the industry. Estate and letting agents have a legal […]

Help the sector understand the benefits of smart meters

As energy costs continue to rise, agents and their landlords need to understand more about the benefits of smart meters to support tenants and encourage their installation, says safeagent. Our call comes ahead of the first Smart Meter Awareness Week (18-22 October), which aims to help landlords, letting agents and tenants understand the benefits of […]

Hounslow Council U-turns on landlord licensing scheme

Hounslow Council has u-turned on plans for a licensing scheme for landlords following representations by safeagent and the Residential Landlords Association. On 9th July the council’s cabinet agreed to proceed with plans for an additional licensing scheme for landlords. The RLA threatened the Council with judicial review on the basis that the consultation it ran […]

Housing market can reopen

The Housing Secretary has announced the housing market can reopen, re-starting the housing market in line with social distancing advice. Today there will be a change to the regulations on moving home, removing the previous stipulation that homes moves can only happen where reasonably necessary. Anyone in England can now move home if they follow […]

Important info: Revised rental documents

Following the introduction of the Tenant Fee Act in England (1 June 2019), Government has issued revised versions of its series of ‘How to’ guides for the Private Rented Sector. It has also updated Form 6A for serving a Section 21 Notice. It is important that you now use these new versions: ·       How to […]

IMPORTANT: Debt Respite ‘Breathing Space’ scheme

From today, Tuesday 4th May 2021, the Debt Respite Scheme, or ‘Breathing Space’ scheme comes into force. Announced last year, the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) gives people in problem debt the right to legal protections from their creditors for up to 60 days. Importantly, this scheme will apply to tenants in debt to landlords […]

Landlord confidence key to possession reforms

Section 21 repossessions should be retained in the private rented sector unless and until a new system is in place that provides landlords with the same level of confidence  about repossessing properties in legitimate circumstances. Groups representing landlords and letting agents (including safeagent), forming a ‘Fair Possessions Coalition’ have united in warning that plans to […]

Latest safeagent Enforcement Toolkit tackles rogue agents

Effective enforcement is crucial if we are to stamp out rogue agents in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and ensure consumers are protected, says safeagent as it publishes the third edition of its Effective Enforcement Toolkit. With Local Authorities under continued pressure to effectively police the PRS, the Toolkit gives them the tools to enforce […]

Latest updates for the PRS

This week, we have had confirmation that estate and lettings agency offices can stay open during national restrictions in England. Government have also made further announcements on evictions, and the extension of the furlough scheme. Please see the latest updates below: Evictions Evictions will not be enforced whilst national restrictions are in place, except for […]

Learning increases as agents deal with lockdown

safeagent has seen rising numbers of agents undertaking professional development, as they deal with the lockdown. There has been a particular interest from Scottish agents, specifically in our Foundation Lettings Course (Scotland), the only fully online training which meets the qualification requirement for Scottish agents wishing to apply to the Register. Now, as part of our […]

Levelling Up White Paper – what does it mean for the PRS?

Today, the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove unveils the Government’s flagship Levelling Up White Paper. This contains 12 ‘Missions’ which will be given legal status in the ‘Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill’. The Mission concerning the PRS says: The government will announce a plan that for the first time ever, all homes in the Private […]

London licensing scheme regime failing consumers

With over 130,000 unlicensed rental properties in London, safeagent calls for a rethink of licensing in the private rented sector to better protect tenants New research for safeagent conducted by London Property Licensing has found over 130,000 unlicensed properties in London which should be licensed under either selective, additional or mandatory HMO licensing schemes. The […]

MHCLG update: What do Tier 4 restrictions mean for the PRS?

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have given safeagent clarification on what the introduction of Tier 4 means for tenants, agents and landlords. All measures currently in place – longer notice periods of six months, court rules and arrangements and restrictions on bailiff enforcement will continue to apply across all local tiers, […]

NAO Report on the regulation of private renting

Welcoming the National Audit Office’s (NAO) Report on the regulation of private renting, which safeagent contributed to, Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive, said: “Over the last few years, we have seen many well intentioned pieces of legislation introduced to improve the PRS. These should have made a real difference, but as the NAO’s Report evidences, their application […]

New CMA guidance on tenants receiving benefits

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued updated guidance to say there should be no blanket bans on tenants in receipt of housing benefit. In March 2019 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced plans to look at letting adverts which potentially discriminate against would-be tenants on housing benefit and made clear […]

New Household Support Fund

Vulnerable households across the country will be able to access a new £500m Household Support Fund to help them with essentials over the coming months as the country continues its recovery from the pandemic. Isobel Thomson, safeagent’s Chief Executive: “The Household Support Fund is a welcome boost for struggling households. We hope this will be […]

Note on changes to guidance for landlords & agents: Tenants Fees Act 2019

Changes were issued to the Tenant Fees Act 2019 guidance by MHCLG on the last day of the previous Government’s tenure in July 2019. Henriques Griffiths solicitors have prepared a helpful note on the changes, explaining they do not materially alter the original guidance issued in April 2019, but simply expand on some points, or […]

Notice periods return to pre-COVID lengths from 1 October

The emergency measures introduced as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020 requiring landlords to provide longer notice periods when seeking possession of residential property will come to an end on 30 September 2021. Notice periods will return to their pre-COVID lengths from 1 October 2021. The Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said […]

Notice periods to reduce from 1 June

Government have announced changes to eviction notice periods and the lifting of the ban on bailiff evictions from 1 June. Key points: As part of a phased approach, notice periods – previously extended to six months as an emergency measure during the pandemic – will be set at four months from 1 June. This will […]

Our man in Cambodia

safeagent Board Director John Midgley has been in Cambodia, volunteering his time with Habitat for Humanity GB and safeagent accredited firm Touchstone. John led the team of volunteers helping to help build a home for a young family, Lok Heanh and Soeum Poeun and their two young children. Soeum Poeun is a sole provider for […]

Pause routine electrical inspections and new property licensing schemes

To help control the spread of coronavirus, safeagent, the UK’s leading not-for-profit accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents, is calling for a pause in the implementation of new electrical safety regulations, and new property licensing schemes. Although visiting rented properties to prepare licence applications and undertake routine electrical testing is permitted under the coronavirus […]

Political parties reveal PRS plans

As the General Election approaches, all three parties have now revealed their manifestos. safeagent’s Isobel Thomson responds to their plans for the Private Rented Sector. “Any party coming in needs to take stock of the considerable amount of legislation which has already been introduced over the last few years. The legislation is there, now it’s […]

Professional development – safeagent provides the right resources

At safeagent, our short courses and qualifications offer something for everyone whether you are new to the sector or experienced, whether you are an employer or an employee. We want to help agents provide the highest levels of service and expertise to landlords and tenants. To achieve that, we don’t believe professional development should require […]

Property Licence Checker launches in London

The Mayor of London has today launched his Property Licence Checker, which will help private renters in London to establish whether their landlord is required to hold a licence to let our their property. Responding to the news, safeagent’s Chief Executive, Isobel Thomson, said: “A simple mechanism for landlords, agents and tenants to understand and negotiate […]

Queen’s Speech: Plans unveiled for the PRS

In the Queen’s Speech, Government revealed plans for what it called “A revolutionary new deal for renters to restore fairness, honesty and transparency to the heart of the housing market” with the Renter’s Reform Bill. Key measures announced for the Private Rented Sector include: A new lifetime deposit scheme, which will see a deposit move […]

Review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

The HHSRS was developed in the 1990s, as a tool for assessing risk relating to health and safety matters arising from deficiencies within the home. It acts as the first step local authorities take before considering which powers under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 Act should be used and is a component of […]

Right to Rent checks during COVID-19 outbreak

From 30 March 2020, Right to Rent checks have been temporarily adjusted to make it easier for landlords to carry them out during the coronavirus outbreak. Until further notice, landlords and letting agents do not need to see original documents and can complete Right to Rent checks over video calls. Checks will continue to be […]

Right to Rent Scheme COVID-19 Adjusted Checks Update

The Government has announced the temporary adjustments to the Right to Rent check introduced on 30 March 2020, due to COVID-19, are ending. From 17 May 2021, agents must check the prescribed documents as set out in the Right to Rent code of practice and the landlord’s guide  This means that when carrying out a […]

safeagent & Landlord Accreditation Scotland partner to support agents

safeagent and Landlord Accreditation Scotland (LAS) have partnered to provide Scottish letting agents with a unique offering of specialist training and professional development. LAS is the national accreditation scheme for Scottish landlords and agents, and safeagent is the UK’s leading, not-for-profit accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents. Their partnership will support agents in Scotland […]

safeagent at Number 10 to discuss ‘No DSS’

Last week, Isobel Thomson, safeagent’s Chief Executive, attended a meeting at Number 10 Downing Street to discuss the issue of ‘No DSS’ advertisements. Taking our place alongside other leading industry organisations and companies, safeagent took part in a roundtable discussion, led by Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP, looking at ways to stop unfair discrimination of […]

safeagent Awareness Week 2019 – A look back

Now in its eighth year, safeagent Awareness Week 2019, was about celebration, banging the drum for the good, professional safeagents. Following NALS’ rebrand to safeagent and the safeagent campaign achieving its original aim of mandatory CMP, this year’s safeagent Awareness Week was about showing consumers how agents raise standards in the private rented sector, and […]

safeagent Board Director receives OBE

We are proud to announce that Professor Paddy Gray, safeagent Board Director, received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Paddy was awarded his OBE for services to Housing. Professor Emeritus of Housing at the University of Ulster, Paddy is an eminent figure in the UK housing sector. He is an authority on housing […]

safeagent calls for financial support for landlords

As the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issues its updated coronavirus guidance ‘Mortgages and Coronavirus: Payment Deferral Guidance’, safeagent asks if mortgage deferral is the answer for buy-to-let landlords, or if now it’s time for government grants to support landlords? The FCA guidance says: Firms should allow customers to extend ongoing payment deferrals after 31 March […]

safeagent calls for overhaul of Discretionary Housing Payments to support tenants in arrears

safeagent is calling for an overhaul of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs). Enhancing these payments – which can be made to tenants in need by Local Authorities – would be the most effective way to support those who are in arrears as a result of the pandemic. Currently, tenants can only be ‘passported’ to DHPs by […]

safeagent creates plan for a sustainable post COVID PRS

safeagent sets out process to support tenants struggling to pay their rent With the announcement that the eviction ban will be extended in England safeagent is setting out a plan to support tenants and landlords to ensure a sustainable post COVID Private Rented Sector (PRS). safeagent is calling for a fair and appropriate system to […]

safeagent given Rent Smart Wales’ highest audit rating

safeagent’s Rent Smart Wales (RSW) training course has been given the scheme’s top ‘High Assurance’ rating following its latest audit. Passing the audit with flying colours, safeagent was awarded the highest possible rating of ‘High Assurance’. The audit found controls were robust in all relevant areas of safeagent’s training, and best practice was also demonstrated […]

safeagent Manifesto: Towards a better Private Rented Sector

As the General Election approaches, safeagent has set out its own manifesto for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Read the safeagent manifesto in full  Calling on the next Government to develop a clear and positive agenda for the PRS, safeagent has a number of key asks, which are vital to help improve the sector for […]

safeagent responds to Selective Licensing Review

Today’s Selective Licensing Review is an independent review, so while it will inform Government’s thinking, it does not necessarily provide a firm commitment to any of the recommendations. Commenting, Isobel Thomson, safeagent CEO said: “The review recommends a national landlord registration scheme, but it is not clear whether such a scheme would be an additional […]

safeagent responds to the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Update

Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive said: “Today’s package of measures announced by the Chancellor demonstrate that we are all in this together. Schemes to create youth employment, the furlough employers incentive and boosts to tourism and hospitality are all very welcome. We know that for the Private Rented Sector, these measures have an important knock on effect in helping to […]

safeagent supports Gas Safety Week 2019

We have pledged our support for Gas Safety Week (16th-22nd September 2019), helping to raise awareness about the importance of gas safety. The ninth annual Gas Safety Week sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and […]

safeagent supports Scottish Government’s Renters Rights campaign

We are supporting a new campaign from the Scottish Government which shines a light on renters rights. The Renters Rights campaign is designed to help tenants to know their rental rights – a vital step towards maintaining positive, trusting relationships between tenants and their landlords or letting agents. Organisations within the PRS, responsible landlords, and letting […]

safeagent supports World Homeless Day

To mark World Homeless Day safeagent has made a donation to The Big Issue Foundation, which creates opportunities to end poverty and homelessness for Big Issue vendors. safeagent is a proud supporter of the Foundation and is working with the organisation to provide advice and support on how to access the PRS. For the day, safeagent is also […]

safeagent works with Haringey Trading Standards to stop rogue agents

safeagent has worked with Haringey Council Trading Standards team supporting them in a case which resulted in a letting agent being fined over £12,000. Haringey based Matthew Estates were ordered to pay £12,630 by Magistrates after being found guilty of five offences relating to false claims in respect of membership of professional trade associations. During […]

Second lockdown – what does it mean for housing?

A second ‘lockdown’ with national restrictions for England comes into force this Thursday 5 November. Government have confirmed that the housing market in England will stay open. Read the National Restrictions (as of  Thursday 5 November) What it means Renters & homeowners will be able to move Removal firms and estate and lettings agents can […]

Tenant Fees Act is now in force – safeagent responds

Commenting on the Tenant Fee Act which is now in force in England, Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive of safeagent said: “There’s no going back now, but will the ban on tenant fees have the desired effect Government has been hoping for, with more money in tenants’ pockets, or will it be a case of them […]

The DPS & safeagent announce two further e-learning modules as part of accredited award for agents & landlords

The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) and safeagent have announced two further e-learning modules as part of an independently accredited award for landlords and letting agents. The modules, which follow e-courses on starting residential tenancies and preparing for disputes, focus on the key stages of a tenancy and the main considerations when reaching the end […]

The DPS and safeagent offer free online course on new tenancies

safeagent and The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) have created a free, online course to enable letting agents to start tenancies off on the right footing. Since 2007, The DPS, the UK’s largest protector of tenancy deposits has run hundreds of face-to-face seminars for landlords and letting agents across the country. Its new, interactive e-module […]

The Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019

Legislation on the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5th AML) – The Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 – which will impact regulated estate and letting agents, comes into force on 10 January 2020. The Regulations will impact letting agents who deal with rental payments from landlords of over 10,000 euros per month and […]

The Queen’s Speech – Measures announced for renters’ reform

In Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech, the Government reaffirmed its commitment to reform the private rented sector ‘to deliver a better deal for renters’.  We now have further detail from the Government on its planned reforms: A White Paper, set to be published in the Autumn, will outline the Government’s package of proposals to create a reformed and […]

Updated ‘How to’ Guides

Government have today updated the ‘How to Rent’, ‘How to Rent a Safe Home’ and ‘How to Let‘ Guides.   The guides were last updated in June 2019 and have now been updated to reflect new laws which have come into force as a result of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and the Electrical Safety Act 2020. As the ‘How to Rent’ guide must be […]

Virtual Right to Rent checks extended until 5 April 2022

The Home Office has announced that the adjustments to Right to Rent checks, which were made due to COVID 19, will now continue until 5 April 2022 rather than 31 August 2021, giving letting agents more time to continue with Right to Rent checks virtually rather than face-to-face. The decision to defer the date for the […]

Welsh fees ban now in force

As of 1 September 2019, the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 is now in force. Agents and landlords in Wales entering into new tenancies from 1 September 2019 will only be able to charge for: Rent Security deposit Holding deposit (one weeks rent) Payments in default Payments in respect of council tax Payments […]

Welsh Government request for untenanted property

safeagent has been asked by Welsh Government ask our agents to provide assistance in sourcing empty property which is urgently needed for a range of people affected by homelessness in Wales. Local authorities in Wales have been working hard to source suitable, safe, and secure accommodation for a range of people affected by homelessness over the […]

Welsh letting fees: guidance for landlords and letting agents

The Welsh Government has issued guidance on the upcoming Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019. There isn’t long now prepare for the ban, which comes into force in Wales on 1 September 2019. The guidance explains what landlords and letting agents can and can’t charge tenants for from 1 September. About the ban Any […]

What’s happening in the PRS? – safeagent reveals the state of the market

In our latest research we asked safeagent firms to give their thoughts on the state of the market, and how tenants and landlords are faring during the pandemic. Arrears – While agents indicated that some tenants are facing difficulties, arrears should be put into context. 62% of respondents said that the proportion of their tenants who […]

White paper on PRS reform delayed until 2022

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have revealed that they plan to publish the White Paper on PRS reform in 2022, allowing the “additional and necessary time to develop the balanced package of reforms that we promised to deliver.” The Department said that will “not only allow us to benefit from continued work with […]

Working safely during COVID-19: New guidelines

This week Government announced their route map for easing the lockdown, including new guidelines for businesses.  Current advice on home moves remains the same, that buyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight COVID-19. Latest guidance (11 May 2020) ‘Our plan to rebuild: The […]