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The Enterprise And Regulatory Reform Bill - Lobbying Vince Cable To Fix The Letting Industry


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Some of you might know that the The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is being debated in the House of Commons on the 16th April.

The new Clause proposes to :

• Extend consumer protection measures governing estate agents to letting agents, giving the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) powers to ban sales, lettings and managing agents who act improperly.

• Require all agents to have clear and free consumer redress mechanisms in place

• Stop sales agents who have been banned from trading to immediately set up a new business as a lettings and/or managing agent.

This would offer tenants much needed access to redress in the event of poor practice, and help raise standards in the lettings market.

There are too many corrupt agents who are taking advantage of the current gap in regulation, putting consumers at risk. Choosing the wrong agent can result in tenants encountering all sorts of problems such as lost deposits, broken agreements and excessive charges. Corrupt or unqualified agents do not ensure that the consumer is well informed. Around 40% of letting agents currently operate outside existing voluntary regulation and redress schemes

To support this you may want to write to Vince Cable. See below suggested wording to cut and paste WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF TIME SO IF INTERESTED I SUGGEST THIS IS DONE ASAP.


The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

1 Victoria Street

London SW1H 0ET


Dear Secretary of State

Better regulation of letting agents for consumers and business: New Clause to Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

I am writing to urge you to accept the new clause to the Bill when it returns to the Commons after recess requiring letting agents to provide the same consumer protections expected of estate agents.

The current regulatory framework for letting agents is confusing and detrimental to the consumer, damaging to business and no longer fit for purpose in a modern and growing rental sector.

Letting agents are not required to have a mechanism in place to handle customer complaints nor are subject to compulsory minimum professional standards to start training. This means:

• They are able to charge extortionate fees or other ‘hidden’ charges

• Consumers have no protection for when things go wrong

• They don’t have to provide an inventory

I am not calling for more regulation - I am calling for better regulation

With 1 in 5 households estimated to be in the rental sector by 2016, this is an issue that is affecting more and more people, including those who are not traditionally in the rental sector such as families

This simple change presents a unique opportunity to raise standards in the rapidly growing private rented sector, giving consumers and businesses a better deal.

This reform is long overdue, I urge you not to miss the opportunity for change.

Yours sincerely


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