More needs to be done to improve transparency and standards in the private rented sector, according to the Royal Institute Of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
RICS, which supports and is currently working with Lord Best and his Regulation of Property Agents (ROPA) working group, points to the fact that the PRS had the highest proportion of properties that failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard and the highest proportion of homes with a category one hazard in the 2017/18 English Housing Survey.
RICS is currently helping to develop an updated PRS Code of Practice, to be released in autumn, designed to help professionalize the sector.
RICS wants to see the government adopt and support ROPA recommendations for agents and landlords, with minimum standards, accreditation of practitioners, and compulsory continuous professional development.
RICS also wants to see the government draw up plans for an extension of regulation to cover all private landlords with a clear timeline of implementation.
The latest sector policy statement from RICS says: ‘We believe that the way to raise standards in the PRS is to ensure that all individual lettings, estate and property management practitioners and firms are consistently regulated and subject to a single, consolidated residential property code, by new regulator with powers to delegate regulatory functions to selected designated professional bodies, as advised by the recently released ROPA report.
‘A regulated PRS would enhance the landlord-tenant relationship, as well as build institutional investor confidence in a growth sector that offers housing solutions to increasing numbers of households. As a sector leading body, RICS already create and regulate professional standards in property and of our professionals who work within the industry.’