You are here: Home - Mortgages - Buy To Let - News -

Letting and property agents face regulation and qualifications crackdown

0
Written by: Owain Thomas
18/10/2017
Letting and property managing agents face being regulated and requiring minimum qualifications to practice under government plans for the sector.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) also wants greater transparency about charges and the relationships between freeholders and agents.

Its proposals are the latest in a series of measures to clean up the sector, which includes upcoming laws to ban letting fees. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has already announced plans to name and shame rogue landlords and lettings agents who exploit tenants in the capital.

The government is asking if a new independent regulatory body is needed – and if separate bodies should be established, for both leasehold and private rented management, and letting agents.

The call for evidence includes measures which consider:

  • what qualifications are needed by agents to practice and how regulation can be improved
  • how transparency can be increased in the system so that tenants and leaseholders know what they are being charged for and why
  • how consumers can be empowered in the market, including whether leaseholder tenants should have a greater say over the appointment of managing agents
  • ensuring fairness and openness around relations between freeholders and agents.

Protect consumers from rogue landlords

DCLG said it was determined to fix the problems in the property management industry, drive down costs and protect consumers from the small minority of rogue agents.

It added that the problem was not just for leaseholders, but for some of the 4.5 million tenants in the rental sector too, with overcharged costs for repairs and services often passed down to tenants.

As part of this call for evidence the government published three examples of anecdotal evidence of poor management. These were:

  • a group of leaseholders charged ten times the market rate to have a new fire escape fitted – with the £30,000 contract handed to the freeholder’s brother
  • one landlord charged £500 by his agent for repairing a shower door
  • a London-based property agent who tried to charge a leaseholder almost £5,000 to transfer ownership of a parking space to other leaseholders.

Communities secretary, Sajid Javid, added: “This is supposed to be the age of the empowered consumer – yet in property management, we’re still living in the past.

“We are showing our determination to give power back to consumers so they have the service they expect and deserve, as part of my drive to deliver transparency and fairness for the growing number of renters and leaseholders.

“Our proposed changes to regulate the industry will give landlords, renters and leaseholders the confidence they need to know that their agents must comply with the rules.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Five ways to get on the property ladder without the Bank of Mum and Dad

A report suggests the Bank of Mum and Dad is running low on funds. Fortunately, there are other options for st...

The essential Your Money guide to the April 2018 tax changes

As we head into the 2018/19 tax year, a number of key changes take place to existing policies while some new i...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
Up to half of UK adults show signs of financial vulnerability

As many as half of UK adults display one or more characteristics of financial vulnerability, according to a new survey...

Close