Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid MP has used his speech to the Conservative Party Conference to announce plans to introduce mandatory regulation for letting agents in England.
These measures follow 20 years of ARLA Propertymark campaigning for mandatory regulation and will be the single greatest step forward in a generation for consumer protection within the private rented sector. Regulation offers to do more to clean up the image of the industry than the hundreds of smaller laws and pieces of legislation passed over the last two decades.
The speech included an announcement that landlords will be required to belong to a redress scheme while promising incentives for those “who do the right thing”. He also referenced consultation with the judiciary on a new, specialist housing court. In measures to promote greater fairness for tenants, the Secretary of State specified that tenancies for a minimum of twelve months should be offered to those that want them.
We have seen regulation take different forms in different parts of the UK. It is essential that regulation reflects the commitment to higher standards embodied by the thousands of letting agents who have chosen voluntary regulation through membership of a professional body and in doing so have demonstrated the value of higher standards.
Since the announcement I have met with the both the Secretary of State and the Housing Minister, signalling support for the changes and outlining how ARLA Propertymark think the regulation should be introduced to address the safety and security needs of families. Both commented that they have listened to our calls for regulation, will work with us to bring forward these proposals and agree with us that this route promises a fairer and more professional private rented sector.
Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark