Regulation of the Private Rented Sector – industry support for Northwood M.D.’s views.

July 16, 2014

Northwood M.D. Eric Walker was recently asked to write a guest article for industry news site Letting Agent Today.

Eric (pictured above) chose a topic close to his heart and one that is currently courting media headlines: regulation of the private rented sector to improve standards.Titled “Stop talking about regulation and DO SOMETHING“, Eric’s views were well received by the lettings community with many positive comments being added.In the article, Eric vented his frustration that nearly all letting agents he meets are frustrated to a degree never experienced before. They have embraced every piece of legislation and red tape thrown at them and complied with it at an ever increasing cost to their businesses.The frustration felt when the agent next door simply ignores that with which ethical agents comply is “galling” says Eric, especially when they then start to canvass with cut price fees enticing consumers into their risky, unregulated world. When it goes wrong, who is blamed? Industry – as one generic pantomime villain. The injustice of this is palpable in Eric’s view.

He concluded:

“We need joined up thinking. Ultimately, Labour, Generation Rent, Shelter, Conservatives and letting agents want the same thing. Better, consistent and fairer standards for consumers which are enforced. At the moment agents effectively have to opt in to regulation placing them at a commercial disadvantage to those intent on pulling the wool over consumers’ eyes or worse, intent on dishonesty. In fact, agents can tacitly opt out of regulations safe in the knowledge no one will find out.

People keep calling for regulation, yet the only people who can regulate are MP’s and regardless of their left or right wing position, they refuse to do so. Professional agents WANT regulation, but the truth is until someone starts policing and enforcing the myriad of existing regulations, a small element of the industry will continue to give the rest of us a bad name. As Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (or successive Governments) do nothing”.

You can read the article in full >>> here.

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