Regulation: it’s a hot topic in the lettings world at the moment. This week the debate continues with the shadow cabinet launching a policy review document of the lettings industry, considering different models to improve standards and practices in the private rented sector. On the other hand, the current Government maintains that there is enough regulation in place and that any more will just add extra layers of red tape….
Northwood’s financial director, Gemma Goodson, sets out Northwood’s position and gives her view on the situation…
Two things are certain when it comes to the topic of regulation of the lettings industry:
- Everyone working within the sector has an opinion about it.
- In the short term at least, there are no plans for formal regulation.
Therefore, as we see it, for the time being, industry has no option but to self-regulate. Not all will go down this route but it’s worth reminding ourselves that for those who do – like Northwood – there are measures in place, which when implemented correctly, can be the best form of policing.
We like to think we’re doing all we can to self-regulate and the list below gives an indication of the kind of points you should look out for when choosing a letting agent:
- Northwood is a founder member of SAFEagent
- We are a member of The Property Ombudsman
- We protect landlord and tenants’ monies by paying deposits into a tenancy deposit protection scheme and subscribe to a Client Money Protection Scheme
- Each business is encouraged to be licensed by one of the sector’s main self-regulatory organisations the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) or Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
- We are dedicated to delivering high quality training and development to our staff in our quest to raise industry standards through improved service and skills this is evidenced in us being the first property company in the UK to achieve Edexcel Registered Centre status
So while for now, regulation remains a topic for discussion rather than reality, we urge all landlords and tenants to choose professional and responsible letting agents, those that are dedicated to self-regulation.