The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has proposed a new regulatory model for agents in the leasehold sector in England to create a fairer property management system which curbs the effects of rogue agents. Among other things, DCLG is consulting on how consumers can be empowered in the market, as well as examining the qualifications needed by agents to practice and how regulation can be improved.
The deadline for comments on the consultation is 29 November 2017.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid announced the proposals on 1 October 2017 to address the imbalance of power in the private rented market by regulating letting agents.
He noted the problem was not only for leaseholders but also for the 4.5 million tenants in the rental sector as well, with overcharged costs for repairs and services often passed on to tenants.
All letting and management agents have been required since 2010 to belong to a redress scheme, with a range of tougher measures later introduces to target rogue landlords and agents.
As part of its new consultation, DCLG is looking into:
- whether regulatory overhaul of the sector is needed
- measures to protect consumers from unfair costs and overpriced service charges
- ways to put more power in the hands of consumers by giving leaseholders more say over their agent
It is also looking into whether a new regulatory agency is needed for the sector, and whether separate bodies should be established for both leasehold and private rented management, and also for letting agents.
Responses may be sent online via the DCLG consultation. Alternatively, they may be emailed to LEASEHOLD.Reform@communities.gsi.gov.uk.