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No regulation of letting agents disappoints the industry

Private landlords and tenants across the UK will have been disappointed by the Coalition Government’s recent assertion that it has no intention of regulating the letting industry in the near future.

There have been calls from both sides of the industry to bring letting agents under some sort of legislation but it appears that landlords will become more reliant on good cheap landlord insurance quote than ever before. Tenants will feel even more vulnerable as it is they that usually have to part with money before they even set foot in their new rented home.

As the private rental sector has flourished over the last 18 months, more cases of letting agents being prosecuted for fraud and theft have come before the courts. It is a situation that many respectable letting agents find intolerable with the managing director of one reputable agency explaining how let down he feels. Paul Weller of Leaders letting agency said: “Under the current system, there is no legislation in place to prevent letting agents from using their tenants’ deposits and landlords’ rents for their own purposes, and nothing that requires them to be qualified and understand the regulations that govern the practice of letting and property management.”

He went on to explain that the regulations about letting a property are very strict and a landlord using a rogue agent could easily find himself breaking the law without knowing it. He stated: “If letting agents do not know and comply with the many regulations that apply to letting, properties can be unsafe and the landlord’s and tenant’s interests unprotected during the tenancy.

“Letting agents need to be experienced, knowledgeable and competent to let and manage property, with a thorough understanding of the complex legislation surrounding letting. Landlords and tenants must protect themselves by vetting their letting agent very carefully.”

By Simon Dack

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