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Government plans to scrap regulation of letting agents met with concern

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced that plans by the previous Government to initiate a Landlords Register and tighter regulation of letting agents have been shelved, insisting that further legislation would strangle an already well-established and functioning system in too much red tape.

Accent Property’s general manager, Sarah Cox, has reacted with disappointment: “I’m deeply concerned that the Government has opted to take this course of action. Specialist letting agents such as us here at Accent Property pride ourselves on delivering a service that is regulated, professional and customer driven. We have invested heavily in ensuring that we adhere strictly to existing guidelines and we are members of the regulatory bodies that currently oversee the lettings arena.

“But many agents and private landlords choose not to be governed by these regulatory bodies, which is why the regulation of lettings agents mooted by the previous administration is so needed. It would give tenants the required protection against those rogue agents and private landlords who continue to insist on practise without due diligence.

“Accent Property will continue to fight for this legislation to be enforced on behalf of our clients; I feel that Housing Minister Grant Shapps’s decision to shelve a National Register of Landlords, compulsory written tenancy agreements and the regulation of letting and managing agents will simply serve to give carte blanche to those rogue agents and private landlords to both enter the market place and continue to practice.”

Meanwhile, Ian Potter, Operations Manager of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) called the scrapped plans “fundamental to market recovery” and urged the Government to “publish its views and recommendations on the Rugg Review of the Private Rented Sector immediately in order to improve standards for the consumer.”

Since the minister's plans emerged, more than 25 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling for the private rented sector to be fully regulated.

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