min read

MPs tell Government to protect landlords from rogue agents

rogue letting agent

The government has been urged to stop “sitting on its hands” and bring forward changes to protect tenants, leaseholders and landlords from poor practices in the lettings industry.

In a letter to Housing Secretary Michael Gove, the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee told it to get on with establishing a property agents’ regulator - four years after it committed to doing so.

The committee also called for mandatory qualifications for property agents, industry codes of practice operated by the new regulator, a single ombudsman for property agents rather than the two current competing schemes, and a Memorandum of Understanding to be agreed between the new regulator, National Trading Standards and redress schemes to ensure cooperation and avoid duplication.

It believes there are still minimal controls on who can become a property agent, despite the considerable power they hold.

'Sitting on hands'

Committee chair Baroness Taylor says the government has been sitting on its hands for four years by not acting on the report of the working group it set up. “In the meantime, the impact on poor regulation is being felt by tenants and leaseholders, and the sector has been left in limbo,” she explains.

Propertymark welcomes the committee’s findings, says Timothy Douglas (pictured), head of policy and campaigns. He adds that that mandatory qualifications, a statutory code of practice and regulatory oversight must exist through a new regulator to ensure compliance with new and impending legislation.

“The UK government must not miss the opportunity to act on the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group and build in greater protections for consumers,” says Douglas.

“Recent and proposed pieces of legislation for leasehold, renting and building safety are complex and need to be accompanied by overarching regulation that supports and promotes competent and professional property agents.”


No items found.