Industry welcomes PRS report findings

Both the Association of Residential Letting Agents and the National Landlords Association have been quick to welcome the report and its findings.

Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the CLG Committee’s recommendations for regulation in the PRS.

“As the PRS continues to expand, it is more important than ever that both landlords and tenants are protected and fully understand their rights.

“ARLA has long campaigned for parity with estate agents in terms of regulation, and we are delighted to see that Parliament appears to be coming round to the idea too.

“We hope the Government will listen to these recommendations, and introduce meaningful regulation of the sector as soon as possible.”

Potter’s views were echoed by Richard Lambert, chief executive officer of the National Landlords Association, who said the report helped to bring the PRS debate into the 21st century.

Lambert said: “This is a really positive report. It takes the debate around the growth of the private-rented sector out of the 1970s into the 21st century.

“The Committee clearly understands how the rental market has developed and what it needs to mature, rejecting the pat responses of rent controls, increased tenure and simplistic solutions of importing ideas from other countries.

“Landlords must respond to the changing needs and demands of renters. The current tenancy legislation is more flexible than many realise, but the Committee is right to highlight that adapting from the accepted norms to use this flexibility will be a challenge requiring "a cultural change and removal of barriers, real and perceived."

Lambert said the NLA would endorse the call for better, simpler regulation and for more proactive enforcement from local authorities which targets those who fail to meet acceptable standards.

He said the NLA also supports the Committee’s recommendations for a more comprehensive regulatory framework for letting agents.

He said: “We are pleased that its proposals reflect our argument that the requirements should mirror those already put in place by many agent representative bodies, such as UKALA.

“Overall, the Committee has brought forward a package of conclusions, recommendations and proposals which offer a fair balance to all and provide the opportunity for the industry at large to take the initiative”.