In response to the statement from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on next steps for the private rented sector, Ian Potter, operations manager of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), commented: “This is a long overdue response. 14% of the population now live in private rented accommodation, and the sector looks set to grow significantly as it becomes more difficult to get a foot on the housing ladder. There is even greater need for a register of landlords, full regulation of agents, and changes to the AST.
“Therefore we support the Government in its move towards full regulation of agents, and anticipate working with the Minister and his team on how this will be put into practice. There is concern that CLG is still undecided as to who is going enforce this regulation – a detail that will not be overlooked by the industry. Will it consist of independent regulation by industry boards? We are still waiting to learn more.
“The Government must now work to convincing the consumer that the PRS is a viable housing choice and one in which they can have confidence. The increase in ASTs is a good step to take but we need further details from the treasury consultation on investment in the PRS and how it can grow to accommodate demand.
“I can say with confidence that those living in rented accommodation are more concerned about the roof over their heads then political posturing, and it is of paramount importance that these measures are not lost in or around the election.”