Press Releases

Meeting the Demands of Today’s Private Rented Sector

UKALA Responds to the Select Committee Report on the Private Rented Sector

The UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) welcomes today’s report from the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the Private Rented Sector.

Caroline Kenny, Executive at UKALA, comments: “At UKALA, we’ve long thought that bespoke solutions are required to increase accountability and transparency within the lettings sector. By working with UKALA and others, the government can ensure that future regulation is proportionate to consumer need and fit-for-purpose.

UKALA Responds to the Select Committee Report on the Private Rented Sector

The UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) welcomes today’s report from the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the Private Rented Sector.

Caroline Kenny, Executive at UKALA, comments: “At UKALA, we’ve long thought that bespoke solutions are required to increase accountability and transparency within the lettings sector. By working with UKALA and others, the government can ensure that future regulation is proportionate to consumer need and fit-for-purpose.

“We agree with the Committee that using the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act to tackle the issue of consumer redress is a ‘positive first step’. We also echo the report’s call to make Client Money Protection insurance (CMP) and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) mandatory for all letting agents.

“These standards already form part of the membership requirements of reputable industry bodies in the sector, such as UKALA, so comprehensive safeguards for tenants and landlords already exist”.

On the issue of providing longer tenancies to ensure a more stable tenure for families in the Private Rented Sector, Caroline Kenny comments: “Mortgage providers need to look at lifting their restrictions on tenancy lengths, as they present the biggest stumbling block to longer term tenancies. If a landlord is not restricted by their lender, letting agents can help facilitate a longer tenancy to meet the tenants’ request”.

UKALA’s main reservation centres on the report’s recommendations relating to the fees letting agents charge. Caroline Kenny explains: “The issue of fees is more complex than generally assumed. In principle, there are some fees which agents could display on property advertisements. However, others are more complex and would need to be calculated according to individual circumstances. No two properties or households are the same, which makes it very difficult to operate a business according to standard ‘book prices’. However, it may be possible for letting agents to provide a ‘price list’ of the variable fees so that the tenant is aware of what they could be liable for in the end”.

UKALA provided both written and oral evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.

–ENDS–