Letting agent regulation is finally on the way

Monday, October 23, 2017

On October 1st Sajid Javid announced plans to regulate #lettingagents and require #landlords to join a redress scheme in addition to existing plans to ban #tenantfees. Want to know more? DCLG has launched a consultation on 'Protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market'. Read the full consultation here or read my five tips.

  1. Letting agents are already required to be a member of a redress scheme and powers in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 mean Government can require all letting and managing agents to be a member of a client money protection scheme.
  2. Government recently introduced new rules to target rogue landlords and agents.  These include an extension of rent repayment orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order and certain other specified offences and allowing local authorities to impose a civil penalty of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of offences under the Housing Act 2004.  
  3. Over this Parliament the Government is expected to introduce banning orders, which will give the first-tier tribunal, the Court that deals with residential property disputes, the power to serve a banning order on a landlord or property agent.  (The offences that could lead to a banning order have not yet been announced.)
  4. In Scotland letting agents will be subject to a mandatory code of practice and minimum training requirements from 31 January 2018.  In Wales letting agents must be licensed by Rent Smart Wales which requires them to demonstrate membership of redress and client money protection schemes, professional indemnity insurance and pass a ‘fit and proper’ test in addition to adhering to a code of practice and training requirements.
  5. Government is considering three models of regulation ranging from requiring all agents to join an existing professional body to creating a new government backed regulatory body which all agents are required to sign up to.  Regulation could include a requirement for agents to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test, qualification and training requirements or a full code of practice.   

At Lion Yard Lettings we support voluntary regulation of lettings agents and we are already a member of the UK Association of Lettings Agents, the Property Redress Scheme and Client Money Protect.  To discuss how we ensure that we deliver a great service for reasonable fees call us on 02076226412 today.

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