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Government accused of failing property professions



Surveying firm Allied Surveyors Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to help professional services firms in the property market along with those in residential sales and letting.

The company praised the Scottish Government’s inclusion of residential estate agents and letting firms of rates relief in the package of coronavirus aid measures but said it did not go far enough.

It said that residential chartered surveyors, legal conveyancers and mortgage brokers are “a vital part of the chain and yet they have been excluded”.

Allied chairman Grant Robertson said: “As a family man myself, I totally understand the importance of the current guidelines in protecting the health of our vulnerable people, but without these essential professional services there is no housing market and a real danger that these businesses will be forced to close or be faced with no alternative other than to commence redundancies.

“This will be the only option left in which to ease the financial burn over the months ahead, and if this happens, it will be the Scottish Government’s lack of support that will be the main contributing factor.”

Robertson said the current relief exists to support businesses directly affected by the Government’s advice to cease trading.

He claimed the residential property market is no less affected by this decision than retail, hospitality and leisure and includes at least as many businesses and individuals.

The firm was sure that the Scottish Government wishes this important sector of the economy to remain robust and able to service the property market “but for this to happen, support must be given to the services which allow this market to operate, not just the frontline agent.”

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He warned that there was only a finite period that the industry would have the financial means to retain the infrastructure necessary to support operations for when the market returns.

He added: “Government support is needed now. We urge you to provide it before it is too late.”



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