Movement on regulation of letting agents
The debate on regulating the lettings industry has been at the forefront this year, and this month the Government finally seems to be listening to what is being called for from the industry.
In a small first step the Government has moved to “make letting agents belong to a recognised redress scheme.” This though falls short of Baroness Hayters proposed amendment that just scraped through the House of Lord, which proposed “redress plus the power to ban letting agents, and prevent banned estate agents from setting up a lettings business.”
Although a good first step to regulation, many within the industry feel there is still a long way to go. Peter Bolton King from RICS welcomed the news but pointed out that “it only offers the consumer support after the damage has been done.” ARLA’s managing director, Ian Potter commented that although a positive move “it is vital that the Government begins the process of consultation quickly, taking on board the views of the sector, and moves to introduce secondary legislation as soon as possible.”
Other industry bodies though were more positive about the Government amendment. The National Association of Lettings Agents said that it was glad that the government had not been too heavy handed, and the UK Association of Letting Agents also welcomed the move.