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Propertymark registered property agents should have access to tenants’ work coaches

by | Feb 20, 2024

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Propertymark has suggested that its registered property agents should have access to their tenants’ work coaches and level the playing field in support for vulnerable tenants in both the private and social sectors.   

In the social rented sector, social landlords can contact their tenant’s Department of Work and Pensions work coaches directly when their tenant’s Universal Credit applications are encountering issues such as building up rent arrears.  

The purpose behind this measure is to enable social landlords to support tenants to find solutions to guarantee the longevity of their tenure when they experience issues. It also means vulnerable tenants can have someone acting on their behalf when interacting with officials from the Department of Work and Pensions.  

 
 

In a letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride, Propertymark’s CEO, Nathan Emerson, stated that those property agents with access to tenants’ work coaches should be appropriately qualified, and possess a good comprehension of data protection and the sensitivity of casework.  

Propertymark argues that by restricting access to property agents with sufficient qualifications, including regulated agents in Scotland and Wales, this would not substantially increase demand and resources on employees at the Department of Work and Pensions.  

To safeguard Propertymark’s suggestion, property agents in England should have the right accreditation to communicate with officials from the Department of Work and Pensions on their tenant’s behalf with licencing supported by UK Government’s proposed Private Rental Sector Database and Property Portal as part of the Renters (Reform) Bill. 

 

Under the Charities Act legislation, the UK Government has recognised the high professional standards achieved by Propertymark Fellow Members which means they can provide valuation reports and help sell land for charities. 

Tim Thomas, Policy and Campaigns Officer at Propertymark, said:  

“Propertymark’s policy proposal will simultaneously level the unequal playing field between the support vulnerable tenants in the private and social sector receive.  By using regulated letting agents in Scotland and Wales as well as the proposed property portal in the Renters (Reform) Bill, only licensed agents with recognised accreditation could gain access which would not adversely impact the department’s resources on call handling and casework.”   

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