Agents urged to check client accounts don’t fall foul of CMP rules

safeagent has written to all of its agents in England urging them to check legal requirements when setting up or operating a client account, following the rise in alternative banking products. As a Government-approved provider of Client Money Protection (CMP), safeagent must ensure that as a scheme it complies with legislation and that its agent […]

An incomplete picture: CMP missing from rogue landlord and letting agent database

The database of rogue landlords and property agents was first introduced in April 2018 as a tool for local authorities to record the most serious cases of non-compliance. Since then, the Government has committed to making the database public. A consultation seeking views on this ran from July-October 2019. In the Fairer Private Rented Sector […]

Autumn Statement: safeagent view

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremey Hunt MP delivered the Government’s highly-anticipated Autumn Statement today, confirming a raft of tax increases and spending cuts. The announcement had been delayed from the end of October, after markets responded negatively to the previous Government’s approach to stimulating the economy. Among other measures, the announcement included a Capital Gains […]

Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland review of agent qualifications – safeagent view

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)’s review of letting agent qualifications in Scotland has now been published. The review, commissioned following the introduction of the Letting Agent Code of Practice in 2018, assessed whether the requirement of mandatory training for letting agents has enhanced professionalism and outcomes in the PRS. The findings from the review […]

CMP ruling highlights the importance of agent compliance

A landmark fine for a Camden property agent has demonstrated the risks associated with failing to be a member of a client money protection (CMP) scheme, with a tribunal upholding a £24,000 fine issued by London Trading Standards. The firm was fined after it was found that the company no longer belonged to a CMP […]

Decent Homes Standard: safeagent view

The Government’s consultation on introducing a legally binding Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector in England is now closed. safeagent reviewed the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ draft Standard on behalf of members and identified some clear inconsistencies between what is proposed and existing housing regulations. safeagent’s chief executive, Isobel Thomson, […]

Discount for safeagents – Oxford City Council selective licensing scheme

From 1 September 2022, landlords will be required to have a licence for all privately rented homes in Oxford. The new citywide selective licensing scheme will replace the existing arrangements in Oxford which only require a licence for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The Council has now published details of the scheme and the fees […]

DLUHC: returning Secretary of State, new Minister for Housing

Michael Gove MP has been re-appointed as the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities by Rishi Sunak. Mr Gove returns to the post after leaving the department during Liz Truss’s tenure as Prime Minister. He had previously headed the department when the Renters’ Reform white paper was released. During an interview on […]

Emergency rent freeze in Scotland: safeagent view

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced a rent freeze on public and private properties as well as a moratorium on evictions. The emergency legislation is being brought forward under the Scottish Government’s 2022-2023 Programme for Government. The measures are aimed at helping tenants through the cost of living crisis, and are expected […]

Going greener – getting ahead of policy starts with professional development

Hitting the UK’s net zero carbon objective is an immense task, but one that we must strive for. We all have a responsibility, whether large or small, in helping to get there. That’s especially true for the housing sector. Homes in the UK are responsible for more than a fifth of our country’s carbon emissions. […]

Let’s learn from the pandemic as we weather cost of living storm

As we look beyond the pandemic, we should take time to reflect on what we did well as a sector to deal with the challenges of Covid-19. There’s lots to learn from as we face the cost of living crisis and a raft of new reforms for the private rented sector. At safeagent, we see […]

Mental Health Awareness Week: our training proceeds donation to MIND

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, safeagent is donating all proceeds from subscriptions to its mental health awareness training course to mental health charity, MIND. Mental Health Awareness Week (9 – 15 May 22) is an annual campaign – this year’s theme focuses on raising awareness of how mental health can be affected by […]

New consultation on extending Decent Homes Standard to PRS

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has launched a consultation on plans to extend the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector. This follows the Government’s A fairer private rented sector white paper, which committed to introducing legally binding standards in privately rented homes, following the Decent Homes Standard’s introduction across social […]

New guidance – smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published new guidance on the updated smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations coming into force on 1 October 2022. safeagent encourages all agents and landlords to read the guidance and ensure properties are compliant in time for the changes. As of 1 October 2022, the Smoke […]

New Help for Households Campaign set up to help people with cost of living crisis

safeagent encourages all agents to share information with their landlords and tenants about the new Government campaign to help families struggling with rising costs over the summer holidays. The campaign includes deals from various businesses which are designed to reduce costs at the checkout, help provide entertainment and ensure access to necessary services for families […]

Regulation of private renting review – what can it tell us about upcoming PRS reform?

Ahead of the upcoming Renters’ Reform Bill, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for more cohesive policymaking and consistency in tenant protections in the private rented sector. Its Regulation of Private Renting report, published yesterday, urges more government support for local authorities with enforcing of PRS regulation, and for educating tenants on their rights. […]

Renters’ (Reform) Bill published – safeagent reaction

The long-awaited Renters’ (Reform) Bill is to be introduced to Parliament today, providing the legislative detail intended to deliver the Government’s 2019 manifesto commitment to abolish section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions. The Bill, intended to provide new protections for tenants and clamp down on rogue landlords, will build on the raft of reforms previously set […]

safeagent calls for Government rethink of lifting of HMO regulations for housing asylum seekers in the PRS

The Home Office has put forward a Statutory Instrument before Parliament to amend The Houses in Multiple Occupation (Asylum-Seeker Accommodation) (England) Regulations 2019. It is proposing to remove the obligation for landlords to obtain a HMO licence when providing accommodation to house asylum seekers. The measure has been put forward as a more cost-effective solution […]

safeagent gains Ofqual recognition for England lettings qualifications

safeagent, the UK’s largest not-for-profit accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents, has been officially recognised as an Awarding Body in England by exam watchdog Ofqual. Ofqual has also accredited safeagent’s Level 2 Foundation Lettings Course [England] and Level 3 Award in Letting and Property Management [England] qualifications. It means agents operating in England can […]

safeagent view: A bold, balanced approach to PRS reform is needed

Reform is a huge part of what we’re focused on at the moment. Whether it’s in Westminster, the Senedd or Holyrood, change is afoot for the private rented sector. Since renting reform legislation was first mooted in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, we’ve had numerous policy reviews and consultations alongside unprecedented political upheaval. Along the way […]

safeagent view: Three key tests for PRS policy success in 2023

2022 was a stop-start year for politics. As we enter a period of potential stability, hopefully we can get back to focusing on policymaking and outcomes. In the private rented sector, we know change is coming. DLUHC has confirmed the Renters Reform Bill will be brought forward in 2023, and it was welcome to see […]

The Fairer PRS White Paper

The Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUHC) has today published its Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper. The measures outlined in the White Paper will form part of the Government’s plans for a Renters’ Reform Bill, to be introduced in this parliamentary session. Reflecting on the reform measures outlined in the White Paper, […]

The Queen’s Speech: what does it tell us about plans for PRS reform?

Yesterday’s  Queen’s Speech and State Opening of Parliament unveiled 38 bills the government intends to bring forward during this parliamentary session. References to reform of the private rented sector in the speech itself were brief, but media is reporting that plans for a renters reform bill will evolve during this session. Specific PRS legislation reportedly […]

The safeagent view: Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 comes into force today

As of today, new legislation comes into force in Wales that will change how landlords operate, with the tenant becoming a ‘contract holder’, and tenancy agreements replaced with ‘occupation contracts’. The legislation aims to simplify and improve the process of renting for both landlords and tenants, and introduces measures such as: an extended eviction notice […]

Training to help letting agents navigate new Welsh housing laws now available

Agents operating in Wales can now access the latest on Welsh housing policy to help landlords and tenants navigate the newly introduced Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, thanks to revised training from safeagent. The UK’s largest not-for-profit accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents has updated its Foundation Lettings Course content for agents in Wales, […]

Updated guidance on Homes for Ukraine scheme

safeagent welcomes the further advice Government has provided for those sponsoring a Ukrainian refugee under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This guidance explains more about how sponsors can help their guests establish themselves in the UK and outlines the options available when a sponsorship is coming to an end. Read the update in full here. […]

What will a new Government mean for the PRS?

Liz Truss is the new leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, following the results of the leadership vote being confirmed on Monday (5 September). Boris Johnson gave his resignation speech today (6 September). Liz Truss will now be taking up residence at Number 10 Downing Street and is expected to announce her cabinet […]