ARLA Propertymark says letting agents have a vital role to play in highlighting the rights of private rental sector tenants.
The comment comes at the end of Renters Rights Awareness Week, a series of webinars run by tenant activist group Generation Rent.
A statement from Propertymark says letting agents are crucial for ensuring the rights of renters are met and upheld.
Agents’ roles, it says, must not be underestimated, as without the understanding they bring of legal complexities, renters are left with the uncertainty of their entitlements.
“Propertymark also protects renters and their money by holding non-compliant members accountable and empowering renters with knowledge and advice. When using an ARLA Propertymark agent, those renting and letting out property are offered a better service and financial protection for their clients” says the association.
Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson adds: “We strive for a sector to be proud of and raising professional standards is what Propertymark stands for.
“We want to make sure that all agents work to a high standard in order to push out the bad agents and provide customers with a knowledgeable and professional service.
“Statistics show that one in eight private rented homes in England are unsafe which includes poor housing conditions and overcrowding. To combat this, we work with our members to increase awareness of the law and the rights of tenants.”
The organisation adds that it has long called for government regulation to ensure everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at least a Level 3 qualification.
“This change would offer huge potential for the professionalisation of the sector and to stamp out bad practice that tars the reputation of the industry” it claims.