Accredited / Regulated / Licensed Residential Letting Agents
Why the letting industry needs regulation
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has campaigned over many years for regulation of the letting agency sector. The majority of letting agents are professionals, working in the interests of their clients and consumers. However the sector is tarnished by the conduct of a minority of agents who fail to adhere to basic standards. Failure to protect client money, mis-advertising of properties, failure to properly maintain leased accommodation and provide a safe environment for tenants -all of these issues must be addressed.
Failure to do so will mean that rogue agents continue to blight the sector, failing consumers and undermining trust in the majority of responsible agents. The property sector on the whole -and the lettings sector in particular -remain largely unregulated.
Given that the average member of the public spends significantly more on rentor a mortgage than they do on energy or transport, for example, it beggars belief that such an important industry is not properly regulated. This needs to change, and soon.
Currently, anyone can set up a letting agency. They can do so without appropriate qualifications or industry knowledge – leading to a public perception of ‘wheeler dealers’ dominating the sector. There is also no requirement to participate in a client money protection scheme, meaning that significant sums of money belonging to tenants and landlords are put at risk. And agents can operate without any sort of professional indemnity insurance. It is little surprise that as a result, not all letting agents operate with the professionalism,expertise and ethics that ARLA agents do.