Landlord and property

Conservative Party Conference: Changes for letting agents

The Conservative government have just announced a number of new controls over the lettings industry at the Conservative Party Conference, which ran from 01 to 04 October 2017.

Whilst more details will be released in the Annual Budget on 22 November, they have provided a limited overview of what the lettings industry can expect of these new measures.

All private landlords will be required to join an official redress organisation

It will now be mandatory for all private landlords to be part of an ombudsman scheme. Whilst it is already a legal requirement for letting agents to be part of a redress organisation, currently landlords are not bound by the same legislation.

Letting agents have been required to be a member of one of three government approved redress schemes since October 2014.

All letting agents will now be regulated

Currently there is no regulation in place for lettings professionals. The government is proposing legislation that would require all letting agents to register with an appropriate organisation. This would mean that agents will be required to satisfy minimum training requirements, and follow an industry wide code of conduct to be able to operate in the UK.

The potential introduction of a dedicated housing court

The government will explore the possibility of introducing a new dedicated housing court that would streamline the current legislative process for both landlords and tenants. Currently landlords and tenants can wait months for a court date, and experience long delays throughout the legal process.

However, the government has stipulated that this change will only come about if it is financially beneficial for all parties, and if it will speed up the current process they have in place.

We will provide updates on these changes as more details are released over the coming months.

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