Contact us:
01508 493330

Latest News & Updates

← Back to News

Posted on November 5th 2013 by admin-movingin

Government must prioritise regulation of agents, says ombudsman

The requirement for all letting agents to belong to a recognised ombudsman scheme does not go far enough – says Property Ombudsman Christopher Hamer.

Hamer has strongly reiterated his view that offering redress when something has already gone wrong is not enough to stop things going wrong in the first place.

He has once again called for the Government to prioritise regulation.

Hamer also expressed concern that the requirement – to be implemented early next year – only affects letting agents in England, but not in the rest of the UK.

He said: “Compulsory redress for letting agents in England will follow from the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act and we have been waiting for DCLG to advise how this will progress.

“Compulsory redress will be a significant milestone for consumer protection and will ensure letting agents in England offer landlords and tenants access to an independent dispute resolution service.

“It is hoped that the devolved administrations will bring about a consistent approach in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“With around 60% of letting agents already registered with TPO and following the TPO Code of Practice for Residential Letting Agents, making redress registration mandatory should be seen as the start of a process to create a level playing field for consumers and agents alike.

“However, redress and regulation are two very different issues.

“More needs to done to address the recommendations made in DCLG’s Select Committee Private Rental Sector report and its calls for a regulatory regime with defined standards of service, echoing what consumer groups and the industry itself have been saying for some time.

“I have also long stated that regulation is required in the sector and I gave evidence to the Select Committee emphasising my view and detailing my experience from cases referred to me.

“I maintain that the Government needs to see regulation as a priority issue.”