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Graham Awards


Letting agents work to be probed by competitions watchdog

The Competition and Markets Authority is launching a three month probe into how letting agents operate within the private rental sector.

It says the focus will be on “the end-to-end experience from a tenant’s perspective including finding somewhere to live, renting a property, and moving between homes.”

This will also identify consumer protection issues and “will examine the relationship between tenants and landlords and the role of intermediaries, such as letting agents.”


The study will culminate in a report on its finding and proposed next steps over this summer.

Separately - but happening at the same time - there is to be a study on house building.

This will look at four areas - how builders are delivering the right sorts of homes that communities and buyers need; land management and claims of land banking; how councils oversee the delivery of affordable homes; and what factors may be holding builders back from adopting new building techniques or moving towards more sustainable net zero homes

Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the CMA, says: “The quality and cost of housing is one of the biggest issues facing the country. Over the last few years, the CMA delivered real change for leaseholders, with tens of thousands of homeowners receiving refunds after being overcharged unfair ground rents.

“With that work nearly finished, we’re now looking to probe in more detail two further areas – the housebuilding and the rental sectors.

“If there are competition issues holding back housebuilding in Britain then we need to find them. But we also need to be realistic that more competition alone won’t unlock a housebuilding boom.

“In the same vein, we want to explore the experiences people have of the rental sector and whether there are issues here that the CMA can help with.

“We will of course be guided by the evidence, but if we find competition or consumer protection concerns we are prepared to take the steps necessary to address them.”

  • icon

    Oh dear. Not got a good feeling about the report already. Agents’ clients are the landlords now, not the tenants. I suspect the report will accuse agents of discriminating against tenants with pets, the unemployed etc.

  • James B

    Another vote winning crusade

  • icon

    James, for the labour party.


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