Government targets rogue letting agents
4th April 2018
Proposals announced on 1 April will aim to afford renters and leasehold homeowners greater protection from unfair letting and managing agents. Under the proposals, an independent regulator and code of practice for letting and managing agents will be established. It will also be made easier for leaseholders to challenge unfair fees and service charges, and anyone severely breaching the new code will face prosecution.
With England’s private rented and leasehold sectors numbering in the region of nine million households, it is hoped that the days of unexpected costs, deliberately vague bills and substandard repairs will be numbered. It will be mandatory for all letting and managing agents to obtain a nationally recognised qualification to practise, with at least one person in every organisation requiring a higher qualification. A new independent regulator, meanwhile, will oversee agents’ working practices, and anyone breaking the rules will be prevented from trading. The final proposals are due to be published in early 2019.
Andrew Ward, owner and founder of Award Property Management Ltd, letting agents in Cambridge, welcomed the new initiative. ‘As a letting agent who values honesty and integrity, we are delighted to see the government taking action on this issue,’ said Andrew. ‘At Award, we’re committed to delivering an exceptional service to landlords and tenants, and we’re passionate about compliance. It is sobering to think that the industry estimates that around £2.7 billion in client funds are held by UK letting agents at any one time. We are already Safeagent members, we’re members of an approved redress scheme and we belong to the Client Money Protection Scheme, which ensures that anyone placing their property – and funds – with us, or entering into a rental agreement for one of the properties we manage, can do so with complete confidence.’
Award Property Management Ltd are letting agents in Cambridge, and we’re always looking for landlords who are seeking a proactive lettings partner. Please contact us for an initial discussion.