Government plan to regulate landlord and lettings agents
This week, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced far reaching plans which will affect not just lettings agents, but also landlords. As ardent campaigners for regulation, Northwood is delighted at this news.
Northwood Managing Director, Eric Walker, has been part of The Lettings Industry Council & The Fair Fees forum both of which have been lobbying for this legislation to be introduced and welcomes this announcement. “I am delighted that Government has listened to our many years of campaigning and moreso that they have agreed to extend regulation to landlords who rent directly ensuring a better, safer environment for tenants.”
There is no detail as to how exactly far the new intended regulation will go, but it looks as though organisations such as ARLA Propertymark, RICS and NALS will have an all-important role to play and all of whom have also campaigned for this legislation.
Javid yesterday said: “Currently, anyone can operate as a letting agent without any qualifications or professional oversight.
“We will change the law so that all letting agents must register with an appropriate organisation. This will mean that letting agents would be required to satisfy minimum training requirements and comply with an industry code of conduct.”
Private landlords are also to face regulation, with Javid announcing that they must all become members of a redress scheme – either in their own right or through a letting agent – which will offer dispute resolution.
Javid said: “We will make it mandatory for every landlord to be part of an ombudsman scheme, either directly, or through a letting agent. At the moment landlords, unlike letting agents, are not required to sign up to ombudsman (redress) schemes.
“We will change the law so that this becomes a requirement, giving all tenants access to quick and easy dispute resolution over issues like repairs and maintenance.”
Many landlords may not appreciate the extent of laws and regulations which agents face in ensuring compliance with the same. Often, even experienced landlords acting in faith can fall foul of the ever changing Laws and regulations. Likewise, the effect of a complaint to an ombudsman or redress scheme can be profound if not dealt with promptly, thoroughly and fairly.
At Northwood, we can ensure that when this regulatory framework is introduced landlords will be compliant simply by using our one of our many services be it Guaranteed Rent, Management or Tenant Find. Our comprehensive training and in-house legal & compliance teams can help you in complying with the proposals.
For more information and free advice without obligation, please contact your local office.