New – National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team

by Property 118

9:02 AM, 18th April 2019
About 2 months ago

New – National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team

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New – National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team

A new team has been set up to provide greater protection for renters in England from letting agents who charge illegal tenant fees. This follows legislation that will ban tenant fees in the private sector in England from 1 June 2019. The new enforcement team – being led by National Trading Standards – will be responsible for regulating the private rental sector in England, protecting tenants and safeguarding compliant letting agents.

The team will provide a single combined enforcement function to protect consumers and legitimate businesses in the property sector. It brings together new letting agency enforcement work with the existing regulation of estate agents, which has previously been operated by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.

Funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team will act as the lead enforcement authority for the purposes of the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Tenant Fees Act 2019. Letting agency regulation (covering England) will be led by Bristol City Council and estate agency enforcement (across the UK) will continue to be operated from Powys County Council. The team will work closely with local authorities who have local enforcement responsibilities.

The team is primarily responsible for the regulation of estate agency work in the UK and letting agency work in England, specifically:

  • overseeing the operation of relevant estate and letting agency legislation
  • issuing prohibition and formal warning orders to those found unfit to engage in estate agency work in the UK
  • approving & overseeing the UK’s consumer redress schemes, Ombudsmen, and Alternative Dispute Resolution entities in the estate agency sector
  • issuing guidance and advice for the public, businesses and enforcement authorities on estate agency work in the UK and relevant letting agency work in England.

James Munro, Head of National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team, said: “Bringing the two functions – lead enforcement authority for estate agency work and lead enforcement authority for lettings agency work – under one team will mean there is a single point of contact for enforcement work in this area. This single team approach will help us uphold consumers’ rights and enforce the law.”

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comments on news that Bristol Trading Standards will be the Lead Enforcement Authority for the private rental sector: “We welcome today’s announcement of the Lead Enforcement Authority, and hope this is a major step forward in improving enforcement in the private rented sector. At the moment, there is a severe lack of prosecution in the industry, allowing rogue agents to operate and thrive. We look forward to building a constructive working relationship with the Lead Enforcement Authority to eliminate these agents from the sector once and for all.”

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “We are determined to make the private rented sector a fairer, more accessible market that works for all and I am delighted that local authorities will now be able to access the best advice and information from this new team. There is no place for unfair fees – now, with this new enforcement authority, we will be able to stamp them out.”

Cllr Steve Pearce, Bristol City Council cabinet member with responsibility for regulatory services, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this new function and playing our part in delivering a solution that combines both regulatory functions into a joint team that will provide a single coherent regulatory voice and help secure regulatory compliance for consumers.

“This places us at the heart of influencing the government policy to help enhance consumer protection.

“This is a hugely challenging area of regulation and we look forward to playing a leading role assisting enforcement authorities in the course of their duties.”

Further information about the team is available at www.nationaltradingstandards.uk. Additional information is also available on the team’s own website: www.ntselat.uk.



Comments

Larry Sweeney

9:14 AM, 18th April 2019
About 2 months ago

More garbage
This useless Con socialist Corbyn loving cabinet couldnt negotiate their way out of a paper bag and seem absolutely obsessed with the PRS.
No landlord should give the Tories a vote, irrespective of what that may mean. Voting for a useless party for fear an even more useless party might win is no reason to vote for the first useless party.
What would happen with a Corbyn Government. Well the economy would collapse with their tax and spend policies. They probably would bring in rent controls which have never worked anywhere and they would run out of money. When they got kicked out , we might get a real conservative government with business friendly policies to reboot Corbyns/May failed economy. So Landlords and tenants it will get worse before it gets better. Worse for landlords with more regulation and worse for tenants with no choice at all in a stagnant market with social mobility destroyed.

Ian Narbeth

10:00 AM, 18th April 2019
About 2 months ago

Larry
In my mind it even money that this "conservative" government will bring in rent controls. Once decent landlords think it's too much hassle to rent out their property and take them off the market, rents will go up. The cost of compliance with the plethora of new rules has increased and the penalties for making simple mistakes are so harsh that for many landlords it's not worth the risk. We may be heading back to the 1960s and 70s when people couldn't move house because they would have to give up security of tenure and a controlled rent.

Annie Landlord

11:34 AM, 18th April 2019
About 2 months ago

Rightmove has today published data showing that rental supply is down across the country, Huffington Post saying rents are up in almost every region and The Times reckons that the buy to let crackdown is fuelling a boom in holidays rentals as banks are swooping in to offer mortgages for them. So, its all going swimmingly isn't it!!
On the subject of this new Trading Standards Agency, I'm not convinced tacking lettings agencies and estate agents together is necessary helpful, and how did Bristol Council get to host it?


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