New regulations requiring all letting and managing agents to join an approved redress scheme are due to be published by the Government very soon. Also set to be published are a Tenants’ Charter and a new Code of Practice, setting standards for the management of property in the private rented sector.
Although Secretary of State Eric Pickles claims the “ambitious” reforms package will bring about a “brighter future for hard-working tenants”, the measures have largely met with a lukewarm reception. The measures do not include some of the key proposals of the Communities and Local Government committee report into the private rented sector, such as giving the Office of Fair Trading the power to ban letting agents.
Clive Betts, chairman of the CLG committee, said, “It is disappointing that the Government does not see fit to crack down on cowboy letting agents and their rip-off fees and charges.”
Richard Lambert of the National Landlords Association said, “We believe that the Government has missed an opportunity to require greater professionalism of letting agents. While the requirement to belong to an approved redress scheme is a step in the right direction, it does little to protect the financial interest of landlords and tenants working with unregulated agents.”
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