HYDE PARK, England
- April 25, 2013
-- Considering that some notorious letting agents have been causing troubles to tenants by their dishonest charges, for the first time the government has finally approved the legislative amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which requires all agents to agree to a compulsory redressal scheme. The regulatory authorities are in complete support of a stricter directive for letting agents so they cannot fraud the tenants with wrong means.
This bill which was introduced in the Lords by Baroness Hayter offers a higher degree of safety to renters and landlords as it calls for all letting agents to sign an ombudsman scheme which gives the authority to the Office of Fair Trading to forbid knave and defaulting agents. This regulation was initially not accepted by the government, as it was in favour of self-regulation only. The amendment is now accepted, though it comes as a redrafted one before returning for debate. The revisions have been taken in a great spirit and with applause by the British Property Federation, Consumer Focus, RICS, and various real estate & letting agents.
However, authorities still opine that unscrupulous agents who split off tenants and landlords of their money in unethical ways should be handled with some more strictness and transparency. There should be more clarity on agents' fees, deposits, protection schemes, insurance, etc. Not only that, the tenants and landlords should also be protected under better schemes and laws against false deposits and payments.
Various lettings and estate agents, who have been practising business ethics earnestly and have done their work in the right way, are happy with the latest amendment. One of the leading property management agencies, InStyle Apartments (http://www.instyleapartments.co.uk/
), believes that “reputation is built on commitment to customer service” and therefore a bill like this is very important to safeguard the interest of tenant and landlords both.