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Trellows Investments

New plea to help self-employed agents missed by Corona schemes

NAEA Propertymark has made a series of demands on the government in the light of the Coronavirus crisis.

In a formal written response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s Inquiry into the impact of Coronavirus on the private rented sector, NAEA makes several calls for action.

The aim of the inquiry, which closed its deadline for written submissions on Tuesday, is to examine how effective the government has been in supporting individuals in the private rented sector.

In a statement on its submission, Propertymark says it highlighted the positive steps the government had taken so far such as extending business rates relief and including commission in furloughed pay.

However, it says concerns remain about access to support for agents who are self-employed and the disparity in how the Small Business Support Grants are being administered by different local authorities across the country.

In a section of its submission entitled Support for self-employed agents, Propertymark says:

“Some limited company directors and small businesses have fallen between the government’s economic support packages. 

“To support this segment of the employment market the government could ask company directors to self-report their average dividend income in order to obtain a similar measure of support to the 80 per cent of income that self-employed and PAYE workers can access. 

“Furthermore, agents who are self-employed had to have filed their 2018-19 tax return by 23 April 2020 to receive support under the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. 

“However, if they had more recently become self-employed, such as from April 2019 it is not clear what support is available. In addition, payments will not be made until June 2020 which means three months of no income when many agents continue to have bills and overheads to pay.”

Propertymark also makes a series of demands on renters’ knowledge of packages available to help them, the suspension of mandatory electrical checks, a review of future maintenance and safety checks, the postponement of all rental licensing schemes, and the treatment of arrears.