Ombudsman Report highlights need for regulation, say ARLA

Ombudsman Report highlights need for regulation, say ARLA

10:58 AM, 14th March 2012, About 12 years ago

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Following the report from the Property Ombudsman that revealed a sharp rise in complaints about lettings agents, ARLA have issued their response.

They are “disappointed” by the figures but believe a closer look creates a slightly different picture, given that only 10% of complaints made it to the Ombudsman.

Operations Manager at the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) Ian Potter, said: “As an organisation that strives to achieve the best possible standards within the private rented sector, we are disappointed to see a rise in lettings complaints over the past year. It was however interesting to note that only 10% of those merited adjudication by the Ombudsman, and it should also be noted that there were almost 900 new lettings members despite some consolidation in the industry.”

The report has also added further weight to their campaign for better regulation of the letting industry.

“That said, it comes as very little surprise given there is no national regulation in place to stop rogue agents setting up shop and taking advantage of what is a fragile market – 26% of complaints were against agents who did not belong to an Ombudsman Scheme.

“We have long called for increased regulation in the sector and as such, we are not unsupportive of the concept of a council to help promote consumer understanding of the importance of using professional agents like ARLA licensed members. Ultimately, it is likely to require primary legislation to achieve full control of the sector and it will be interesting to see how the proposals in Wales and London progress.” Added Mr Potter.

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