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Yes to Regulation and No to Rent Controls - Propertymark

Propertymark wants Northern Ireland’s Department for Communities to regulate property agents via professional bodies such as itself.

The Department for Communities is continuing with the second phase of reforms to the private rented sector, the first of which being the implementation of the Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022. 

The Department for Communities first introduced a series of proposals for change in January 2017, which Propertymark responded to. Given the interval since 2017, the Department has consulted on new proposals.


Following the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland in February, Propertymark stressed to the NI executive that the Private Tenancies Act (Northern Ireland) 2022’s many remaining sections requiring approval should be enacted quickly.

Propertymark also demanded that rent controls should not be implemented in Northern Ireland.

Members of the professional body also met officials from Department for Communities in March to discuss the future of the landlord registration scheme and progress of the Private Tenancies Act.  

Propertymark reiterated in its response to the department that the Executive needs to boost housing supply across all tenures.

It added that the Department for Communities must also avoid the mistakes made by other administrations across the UK when it comes to energy efficiency targets - and instead look at concerns raised by consumers and professional bodies. 

Other devolved UK nations have provided insufficient financial support for landlords and homeowners to meet energy efficiency requirements, with targets failing to account for the needs of different properties in the UK. 

Finally, professional bodies should be included in the introduction of a phased approach to  regulating letting agents in Northern Ireland which is a devolved power.  

According to Propertymark, there should be a four-stage approach.

The first step being requiring letting agents to join a list of approved professional bodies, followed by the introduction of mandatory Client Money Protection and Professional Indemnity Insurance requirements. The third stage would be the introduction of a Code of Practice for letting agents and requirements to belong to a redress scheme. The final stage would be registration, relevant qualification, and ongoing Continuing Professional Development requirements.  

Propertymark says: “This phased approach will enable a smoother period where agents will adopt new practices over time. Involving professional bodies in this process enables agents to access additional support, learn best practice and have access to model forms, further improving the transition process to full regulation.”


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