Nine million households to benefit from stronger protections against ‘rogue agents’

Nine million households to benefit from stronger protections against ‘rogue agents’

In recent days, the Government has unveiled new proposals which, if introduced, would see private rented and leasehold households benefit from stronger protections against ‘rogue’ letting and management agents.

According to moneywise.co.uk, some nine million private tenants and leasehold homeowners could potentially benefit from the new proposals, which would introduce a mandatory ‘code of practice’ to protect them from unscrupulous agents.

The new rules would require letting and managing agents to obtain a nationally-recognised qualification before they are able to operate.

At least one person in their agency would be required to have a higher qualification – and a brand new, independent regulator would be established in order to tackle agents who are deemed to have acted unlawfully.

Any agents that are found to have broken the rules will no longer be permitted to trade – and some may even be hit with criminal sanctions depending on the severity of failures, the Government has said.

The proposals come at a time when concerns are mounting that renters and leaseholders are being hit with unexpected costs, ‘vague’ bills and repairs of a dubious quality.

According to the Government, its new proposals would “professionalise both sectors” and “stop managing and letting agents from flouting the law” in these areas.

Commenting, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler, said: “Most property agents take a thorough and professional approach when carrying out their business, but sadly some do not.

“By introducing new standards for the sector, we will clamp down on the small minority of agents who abuse the system so we can better protect tenants and leaseholders who find themselves at the end of a raw deal.”

Further information about the new proposals can be accessed on the GOV.UK website here.