The Chartered Institute of Housing wants the government to introduce a raft of new measures including significantly greater regulation of letting agents.
The CIH has voiced its broad support for many of the recent measures outlined in the government White Paper which, in the eyes of some in the private rental sector, have imposed already-challenging requirements on lettings agents, landlords and investors.
Now, in its submission to the Treasury ahead of next month’s Budget, the CIH wants the development of a single, easily-understood set of minimum standards covering both property conditions and property management in the rental sector.
It also calls for the increased funding of councils to ensure they can proactively enforce existing and future standards imposed on the private rental sector - this is especially important given recent landlord requirements such as licensing schemes, says the CIH.
However, the institute reserves its most significant request for letting agents - it wants the government to introduce far more significant regulation.
It says in its submission to Chancellor Phillip Hammond that a 2010 survey by the Department of Communities and Local Government showed that 79 per cent of landlords received less than a quarter of their income from rent - evidence, the trade body says, that being a landlord “is a side-line activity for most.”
Therefore, it says, greater reliance is put on letting agents. However, without specifying the precise problems it hints at, the CIH’s submission goes on to say: “There is widespread agreement, including among organisations representing agents themselves, that regulation is needed to stamp out poor and exploitative practices. This could most easily by implemented by extending the arrangements already in place to regulate estate agents, to the lettings industry.”