RICS, The Property Ombudsman, Which? and ARLA welcome decision on lettings industry
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), The Property Ombudsman, Which? and ARLA welcome the decision in the House of Lords to introduce an amendment in law to help protect tenants and regulate the lettings industry.
These organisations and others have long campaigned for the regulation of the lettings industry, working with MPs and Peers to highlight problems and inconsistencies in current legislation which is having a detrimental effect on consumers and business. Following the House of Lords vote, RICS, The Property Ombudsman, Which? and ARLA now look to Government to implement these much needed changes.
The change to the law will give tenants much needed access to redress in the event of poor practice, and helps raise standards in the lettings market. In addition it will:
Extend consumer protection measures governing estate agents to letting agents, giving the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) powers to ban sales, lettings and managing agents who act improperly. Require all agents to have clear and free consumer redress mechanisms in place Stop sales agents who have been banned from trading to immediately set up a new business as a lettings and/or managing agent.
Peter Bolton-King, RICS Residential Director commented:
“RICS has long called for the regulation of the lettings industry, given that ultimately, this is about the provision of shelter, a basic human requirement. This decision is one step nearer to this vital change becoming law.
Ian Potter, ARLA Managing Director added:
“We all look forward to working with Government on the Bill as it moves back to the Commons for final approval”.
Christopher Hamer, The Property Ombudsman, said:
“From my experience of disputes that arise between consumers and letting agents this is a welcome and positive step that could see the 40 per cent of agents currently not registered with TPO or affiliated to a professional body, brought within a framework of standards. This will mean greater protection for a greater number of consumers.”
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said:
“Renting is now the only housing option for millions, and our research has shown this market is dogged by poor practice and there is an alarming lack of consumer protection.
“Tenants deserve much better and the Government must take this opportunity to improve regulation and redress in this sector. We want letting agents to be covered by the same rules as estate agents, overseen by an independent ombudsman.”
RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction.
In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.
Over 100 000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.
RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) provides a free, impartial and independent service for dealing with unresolved disputes between agents and buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords of property throughout the UK.
With 20 years of experience and over 11,000 estate agent offices and 9,000 lettings offices registered, TPO is the primary dispute resolution service for the property industry.
TPO is a member of the Ombudsman Association and follows the standards and rules of the Association. The Ombudsman is totally independent of its registered firms and reports directly to the TPO Council which is made up of a majority of non-industry members.
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