Property Ombudsman calls for rented sector regulation
Hamer said: “The Government has made clear that it is looking to reduce the burden on businesses and has introduced its ‘Red Tape Challenge’ to de-clutter the statute books of unnecessary legislation.
“The Government also wishes to avoid imposing burdensome regulation on business, preferring instead that business sectors put their own houses in order.
“However realistically legislation is the only vehicle that can bring 100% of letting agents within the fold. I would caution the Government that this is an issue which simply cannot be put off any longer.”
Hamer’s call follows recent reports that 53% of all complaints to the Property Ombudsman concerned the lettings industry compared with just 27% about the sales industry.
However the National Landlords association said it is keen to use the current focus on the industry to encourage it to regulate itself rather than wait for Parliament to catch up.
Chris Norris, head of policy at the NLA, said: “It is important that government, industry and professional bodies work together to agree a realistic strategy which meets the needs of consumers without interfering with the increasing need to develop private renting as a credible tenure.
“It is vitally important that landlords and tenants can be confident that they are dealing with a professional agent which is why the NLA is partnered with the UK Association of Letting Agents to promote understanding and best practice.
“In essence this is the basis of regulation without the inevitable Government delays.”