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Government fails to tighten regulation on letting agents

By The Beresfords Marketing Team - 30 June 2010
The Government is under fire after scrapping plans to introduce tighter regulations within the letting industry. Proposals had included the development of a formal register for landlords and the need for agents to be suitably qualified to offer professional advice.

However the new Housing Minister Grant Shapps said the sector was already governed by a well-established framework stating: "With the vast majority of England's three million private tenants happy with the service they receive, I am satisfied that the current system strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.”

Steven Bond, Managing Director of Beresfords Lettings Division, comments: "It is disappointing that there has now been a u-turn on this important subject. Some letting agents are not sufficiently experienced or qualified to offer sound and professional advice, which can create significant distress for those landlords and tenants who may be dealing with them. Therefore tighter regulations would have made it more difficult for such firms to operate within the industry.’’

Steven concluded "It would also have given tenants confidence that they were renting a property that was owned by a responsible landlord who was formally registered within a government backed scheme’’.

Without this in place, it is even more important that both landlords and tenants alike use a reputable letting agent who is ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) registered as they have to comply to a strict code of practice and their staff must be adequately qualified.