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NEW: Competition watchdog to probe 'consumer rights' within rental market

sarah cardell cma

The UK's competition watchdog is to launch an investigation into consumer rights for those rent their homes and the activities of landlords and letting agents.

This announcement, which has been made by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), reveals that it intends to shed light on the experience of renters and explore whether more could be done to 'help landlords and intermediaries to understand their obligations'�.

Its consumer enforcement work in housing will focus on tenant's experiences of finding somewhere to live, renting a property and moving between homes.

The CMA will also look at the relationships between tenants and landlords and role of intermediaries such as letting agents.

The initiative will run alongside a probe into the UK's house building sector.

Biggest issues

'The quality and cost of housing is one of the biggest issues facing the country,'� says Sarah Cardell (main picture), Chief Executive of the CMA.

Over the last few years, the CMA delivered real change for leaseholders, with tens of thousands of homeowners receiving refunds after being overcharged unfair ground rents.

'With that work nearly finished, we're now looking to probe in more detail two further areas '� the housebuilding and the rental sectors.

Competition issues

'If there are competition issues holding back house building in Britain then we need to find them. But we also need to be realistic that more competition alone won't unlock a house building boom.

'In the same vein, we want to explore the experiences people have of the rental sector and whether there are issues here that the CMA can help with.

'We will of course be guided by the evidence, but if we find competition or consumer protection concerns we are prepared to take the steps necessary to address them.'�



'This is an important piece of work and I urge everyone in the sector to get involved. The quality of housing, especially in the rental sector is at the forefront of concerns in an increasingly costly and and safety conscious market," says Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the PRS.

"What is paramount however, is the effectiveness of enforcement and as our recently released annual report reveals, complaints are rising. It will be crucial to see what the conclusions of the study are and how current and future regulations can be policed'�

Read more stories about the CMA.


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