The Communities and Local Government Committee are set to conduct a new, thorough inquiry into the Private Rented Sector. A number of issues are to be examined and debated by the selection of cross-party members. Included in the inquiry is the proposal of the regulation of all landlords and letting agents.
Previous housing minister Grant Shapps was in opposition to introducing this type of regulation. However, current housing minister Mark Prisk is interested in looking further into the proposal.
What’s more, the committee will be looking if it is possible to introduce rent controls. This will involve scrutinizing whether regulating letting agents will include applicable fees and charges.
Should letting agents be licensed by law?
President of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Jane Ingram is fully behind the investigation. Ingram said, ‘we welcome the inquiry by the Communities and Local Government Committee into regulation of letting agents.’
She went on to say that the, ‘ARLA has long campaigned for statutory regulation’ and with numbers in the Private sector swelling, ‘it is time for the Government to finally take action.’
Ingram believes that regulation of the letting sector is crucial to stamp out fraudulent agents. She says that, ‘Currently anyone can set up as a letting agent without any qualifications or knowledge about their legal requirement. This is simply not good enough, and means that consumers can be taken for a ride by rogue agents.’
“We look forward to inputting into the inquiry and making the case for greater regulation of the sector.’