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Government tells agents to shut offices immediately

Propertymark has been told the agents should shut their offices immediately - they are not “essential businesses” under the new Coronavirus safety guidance.

A statement from Propertymark issued this afternoon says: 

"Propertymark has spoken to a senior civil servant at Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Goverment (MHCLG) this morning. 


"The civil servant stated that agents are not 'essential businesses' under the new rules and therefore their view is that agents should close their offices immediately.

"Furthermore, they stated that there should not be any in-person viewings, routine inspections or house moves.

"MHCLG is still looking into property maintenance tasks such as gas safety checks and hopes to issue guidance on these points as soon as possible.

 "In a further development, British Association of Removers (BAR) has issued communications this morning instructing members that moves should only be completed if they are already underway, any move that has not yet started, should not go ahead. 

"Propertymark will keep members up to date later today and as any further information becomes available."

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    This is ridiculous!! I have a tenant who is an NHS worker who is moving into one of our properties tomorrow otherwise she will be homeless!!! My inventory clerk got abuse from the neighbours yet this tenant is a key worker and needs to stay safe. Some thing has got to be done about this to protect tenants


    There always going to be people who will be victims of the timing of such precautions. But I’d like to think that your NHS worker colleague above anyone else, would understand and appreciate the depth and seriousness of the issues we’re facing and the importance of carrying out these urgent measures. Also, if she is moving tomorrow, unless she’s homeless already, then she already has a roof over her head? So I’m not sure how she could become homeless when nobody else will be able to move into the property she is in! Cool heads are needed right now. Not ranting on a media platform!


    Absolutely right Tracey! I wouldn't hesitate to contact the police, the neighbour is far more likely to catch something when they are hoarding loo roll at the supermarket than from someone who is trained in hygiene management. Where she is moving from and her circumstances are irrelevant.

  • Murray Lee

    Its THEIR VIEW...my view is different! We are locked and only dealing with emergencies and move ins already agreed and for this week

    We hold keys to all our management portfolio for access etc

    What should we do?

    PLUS they still want our FULL business rates #gofigure

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    Perfectly understandable and not unexpected . We closed our offices immediately and cancelled all appointments. But this does NOT appear to be a “Government Announcement “ - Propertymark have spoken with a “senior civil servant” BAR have “communicated”. to members. There needs to be clear guidelines for contractually bound deals otherwise people could be homeless or risk bankruptcy.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Propertymark, what would we do without them


    If only the RICS were in charge, shame most agents couldn't reach their standards of excellence and professionalism...

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    • S S
    • 25 March 2020 09:58 AM

    As a RICS regulated firm, I wouldn't reply on the RICS to provide any help/useful input/assistance for residential agents - they haven't really supported residential agents for the 30 years we've been qualified.

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    I quite agree and that's because of the pitifully low standards of most high street agents, letting agents and the major chains are universally dire.


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