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Housing minister slammed over failure to weed out rogue letting agents

lee rowley

A cross-party group of peers has attacked the government for sidestepping its proposals to clamp down on rogue letting agents.

In a letter to Housing Minister Lee Rowley, the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee expressed its disappointment that the government had failed to respond to any of the conclusions and recommendations in its ‘regulation of property agents’ inquiry.

Committee chair, Baroness Taylor of Bolton (pictured), says it is not a satisfactory approach to parliamentary scrutiny of government policy.

She adds: “In the interests of parliamentary scrutiny, we will still expect a full written response to the committee’s original conclusions and recommendations.”

The committee had queried why the government had still not responded to the Working Group’s suggestions more than four years ago.

It believes a new regulator would make a significant difference by driving up standards in the sector and proactively enforcing against agents who engage in bad practice causing landlords and tenants financial loss and stress.


“This delay will undoubtedly have had real consequences for tenants, leaseholders and others, who continue to be exposed to malpractice from a sector that is regulated in an inconsistent and limited way,” says Baroness Taylor.

“If the government disagrees with the findings of the report, then it should say so publicly and set out its position, rather than leaving the sector in limbo.”

In his letter responding to the committee’s suggestions, Rowley had pointed to how it was driving up standards through the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill and Renters (Reform) Bill.

He explained: “As the Secretary of State made clear at Commons Second Reading of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, we do not believe this Bill is the right place to set up a new property agents’ regulatory body and the associated framework. The same applies to the Renters Reform Bill.”

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