Ombudsman takes legal advice on compulsory regulation of letting agents

Regulation should be considered to protect the consumer, especially in relation to client money protection.

The Property Ombudsman scheme has taken legal advice on how letting agents could be compulsorily regulated, saying that voluntary bodies are not the regulators ‘some imagine them to be’.

There were also criticisms of the lack of uniformity in the way client money is protected – where, indeed, it is regulated at all.

Bill McClintock, chairman of the Ombudsman’s board, made the revelations in a response to LAT after questions about Leeds letting agent The Property Showroom.

McClintock said: “There is no regulation for lettings agents, whereas there is some regulation for sales agents. Despite TPO pressing the Government over several years, politicians have not been prepared to support regulation, much of which could have been done by a small amendment to the 1979 Estate Agents Act or other means available to the Government.

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