Latest News

Underinsurance – a hidden risk, how to protect your business

11 June 2021

Inadequate or insufficient insurance cover may result in serious financial loss and can affect organisations of any size, and the pandemic has resulted in many businesses reviewing their cover in a more challenging environment. Read More...

Capital Gains Tax review – recommendations for UK property tax return

10 June 2021

The Office of Tax Simplification (OCT) has published the second report of their review of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) that sets out what could potentially be done by HMRC to raise awareness among taxpayers to help them meet their CGT 30-day reporting and paying obligations. Read More...

Flagship First Homes scheme launches

04 June 2021

Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick MP, announced today, 4 June 2021, a new First Homes scheme of discounted houses for local people and key workers in England with the first properties going onto the market in Bolsover, East Midlands, as part of the first phase of an early delivery project. Read More...

SDL Property Auctions puts people first in a high-tech business

02 June 2021

Andrew Parker, MD and Auctioneer at SDL Property Auctions, a Propertymark Industry Supplier, is a strong proponent of technical innovation, however, believes human relationships are just as, if not more, important than ever in the 21st Century. Read More...

Propertymark research adds to Lords debate on leasehold reform

27 May 2021

As the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill makes its way through Parliament, Propertymark’s research was used to explain why the Bill is the first step in addressing the scandal and abuses that leaseholders have faced for years. Read More...

First Homes adds to UK Gov’s home ownership measures

26 May 2021

Minister of State for Housing, Christopher Pincher MP, has announced the UK Government’s ‘First Homes’ scheme as part of the UK Government’s commitment to supporting people to own their home. Read More...

Properties sold over asking price at all time high

25 May 2021

Propertymark's latest Housing Market Report shows that one in three properties (32 per cent) sold for more than the original asking price which is the highest figure on record, massively beating the previous one of 19 per cent in May 2014. Read More...

The Queens Speech 2021: four key issues for property agents

Tuesday 11 May 2021

The UK Government announced their plans for the next parliamentary session in the Queen’s Speech today, 11 May, which includes several significant changes to planning rules, a new Building Safety Regulator, ground rents, and the next steps for Renters Reform.

End to ground rents confirmed

In today’s speech, there was the welcome confirmation of leasehold reform, which will put an end to ground rents as per the announcement from the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, earlier in the year.

Propertymark has campaigned for years for changes to the leasehold system to resolve the issue of escalating ground rent. We have responded to multiple consultations and in 2018 our research Leasehold: A Life Sentence found that 46 per cent of leasehold house owners were unaware of the escalating ground rent when they purchased their property.

Today’s confirmation is a step in the right direction, however, we encourage the UK Government to extend this to those who already own a leasehold property, as well as all retirement properties, to create a level playing field.

FAQ Document – What is Leasehold Reform?

New Building Safety Regulator

As part of the Building Safety Bill, the UK Government intend to establish a new regulator for building safety along with substantial reforms to the building safety regime. A draft Building Safety Bill has already had pre-legislative scrutiny. It was included in the 2019 Queen's Speech and published in draft form last July. In September last year, we highlighted concerns with the proposals, including the role of estate and letting agents when buying, selling and renting property, material information, and the remediation of any unsafe cladding.

Planning reform and homeownership

Another key announcement in today’s speech was a new Planning Bill, which aims to simplify and speed up the planning process while making it harder for homeowners to block new housing schemes.

With the recent repeated months of record-breaking activity, there is a severe lack of housing stock so simplifying the planning process and increasing the amount of house building will be a welcome answer to this growing problem, however, it must be used effectively at a local level.

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A greater supply of homes will serve to correct the imbalance between supply and demand which has been intensified by the stamp duty holiday. The government has made a number of announcements in the past on simplifying the planning process, however, this will only work if it really reflects local needs and demands.

We hope the Planning Bill outlined today encourages the development of housing in more affordable areas, as at the moment, most of the development taking place is in areas that are unaffordable to first-time and lower-income buyers

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor

Renters' Reform

Finally, there will be some developments in the coming months for reform in the private rented sector.

The UK Government’s consultation response on reforming tenancy law to abolish Section 21 will be published later this year, along with their proposals on the ‘lifetime’ tenancy deposit scheme. A White Paper detailing the whole reform package will be published in the Autumn with legislation following shortly after.

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The announcement in today's Queen's Speech that the UK Government will publish a Renters Reform White Paper in the Autumn demonstrates that Ministers are prepared to engage with the industry to understand the impact any substantial legislative changes will have on those involved in the private rented sector.

With the focus of the new package on lifetime deposits, landlord redress and greater enforcement, the UK Government must look at ensuring that a system that would allow deposits to be passported can only take place if there is a bridging loan, with the UK Government as the guarantor, in order to ensure the remaining part of the deposit is covered should the tenant default. Additionally, the UK Government must prevent ‘double jeopardy’ and only extend redress membership to properties that are fully managed.

Propertymark will be engaging with MHCLG and MPs to ensure they fully understand the consequences of any changes. We will also be scrutinising the White Paper and proposed legislation, to ensure the best possible outcome for our members.

Timothy Douglas

Timothy Douglas
Policy and Campaigns Manager

Further details about the UK Government’s agenda as set out in the Queen’s Speech can be found at GOV.uk.

The Queen's Speech 2021