news | 1 week ago | Andreea Dulgheru

Propertymarks calls for regulation of estate agents and review of PRS property taxes to strengthen Renters Reform Bill

Ahead of the Renters Reform Bill’s second reading in the House of Lords, Propertymark has issues its list of key recommendations to strengthen the bill.

In its suggestions, Propertymark called for the introduction of qualifications and regulation of property agents, to ensure letting agents are appropriately skilled and commit to undertaking mandatory continuing development within their role, thus bringing the PRS more in line with the social rented sector.

The organisation also called for a review of property taxes on investment in the PRS, and for landlords to be allowed to offset mortgage costs against tax liabilities, which, according to Propertymark, have contributed to rents increasing.

In addition, the organisation has stressed it should also be mandatory for there to be written tenancies that include an inventory in England, to enable properties to be protected, and for any deposit deductions to be conducted fairly.

According to Propertymark, 88% of letting agents do not believe that the courts would be able to cope with the removal of ‘no fault’ evictions, while 80% state the end of fixed term tenancies will affect tenants badly.

Moreover, 64% of letting agents do not believe that local authorities would have enough resources to impose the new legislation properly, and only 54% of agents believe that the proposed PRS database will enhance standards. 

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “The legislation, once passed, will undoubtedly bring about the biggest change to the PRS since the 1980s. 

“Most agents and their landlords have been reassured by the UK government’s commitment to court reform and that there will be an effective way to recover possession of their property when things go wrong. 

“However, with the removal of fixed term tenancies still a concern and open ended tenancies reducing the certainty for agents and landlords the big question is: how do we encourage landlords to stay in the PRS? 

“Furthermore, tenants need qualified and licensed housing providers to level the playing field and legislators must not miss this opportunity to regulate property agents and bring in additional protection for both landlords and tenants.”

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