Published by Sarah Ashcroft
Government plans to introduce a new code of practice for letting agents and landlords have been wholeheartedly backed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
The body said it is behind the proposals set out by communities secretary Eric Pickles recently, which it described as a "definite step in the right direction".
Research conducted by Rics last year showed almost 90 per cent of people feel those renting out homes should be made to register with a regulatory authority. Rics said it will continue its campaign to ensure there is consistent regulation of letting agents across the UK.
Its aim is to protect members of the public in areas where they face the greatest risks, which could include deposit schemes and other factors that involve money.
Rics explained better regulation of the sector, such as through the new code of practice put forward by Mr Pickles, will go some way to improving standards. Tenants will be able to use official channels should they wish to make a complaint.
What's more, Rics is set to work with the government and industry leaders in order to refine the code of practice before it comes into effect. It has urged Westminster to go one step further in the quest to regular landlords and letting agents.
Too many tenants are still unaware of whether their agent or landlord has been fully regulated or is even qualified and knowledgeable in the field. This is a matter the government should look to resolve as soon as possible.
Giving tenants more confidence is also likely to be good news for landlords, as people may be more willing to use the private rented sector if they can be sure the companies and individuals they are dealing with can be trusted.
Published on: October 17, 2013