New ombudsman to help in battle against rogue landlords
Government announces that letting
agents are now to be properly regulated
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed Shedworking blog since 2006 and is the author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest book is Bookshelf, published by Thames & Hudson.
Wednesday 17 April 2013
Anybody who rents a property will soon have a special ombudsman on their side with powers to enforce cheating landlords to repay tenants. The Government's last minute amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill means that every letting and management agent must sign up to a redress scheme.
"The lettings market has for far too long been in danger of
becoming the Wild West of property industry," said Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors Global Residential Director
Peter Bolton King. "This is a step towards ensuring tenants and
landlords are comprehensively protected. What we would now like to
see is lettings and managing agents required to sign up to a
professional regulation scheme that would ensure a better standard
of professionalism right across the sector."
Lucy Morton, senior partner and head of lettings at estate agent W.A.Ellis, said: “Although this is a step in the direct direction, the Government has failed to address the issue of client money protection and professional indemnity insurance. There is a still a long way to go in ensuring better standards across the industry, and I fear that without full regulation we’re stopping short of putting an end to rogue agents and bad practice.”
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