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Would tenants really be better off if letting agents were regulated?

A trade body claims private tenants are ‘suffering’ because lettings agents are not regulated.

Propertymark is demanding equal treatment between lettings agents and the social housing sector.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove intends to boost standards in social housing by ensuring that senior members of staff working in social housing are appropriately qualified and have the skills and knowledge to meet new standards following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.  


Propertymark says Gove has been keen to do this since February 2023, when the UK Government declared that social housing managers must acquire professional qualifications.  

But there is no regulation in England that specifies letting or managing agents should have a qualification, and the same goes for estate agents throughout the UK. 

Propertymark is unhappy that this means anybody can set up their own estate or letting agency without acquiring the appropriate knowledge regarding existing laws that the housing market must abide by.  

It claims this damages the property industry’s reputation as it can lead to rogue agents continuing to operate under the UK Government’s radar.  

Scotland has already introduced compulsory qualification requirements for letting agents, which has reportedly resulted in substantial improvements in the letting industry there.  

Propertymark wants regulation of property agents since 2019 when a House of Lords working group called for licensed property agents having a qualification and abiding by a Code of Practice.  

Propertymark believes that Gove’s attempt to implement qualifications for the social housing sector should also be an opportunity to do the same for the letting industry in England and estate agents throughout the UK by enacting the House of Lords’ working group’s recommendations from 2019.  

Henry Griffith, Policy and Campaigns Officer at Propertymark, says: “If Mr Gove is serious about improving standards throughout the housing sector in general, then he must ensure that private tenants receive the same protections that social tenants do by ensuring letting agents in England and estate agents throughout the UK are qualified. 

“This will ensure that standards are raised throughout the housing market and ensure that anyone who is dealing with the complexities of housing legislation is appropriately qualified to do so.”

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  • Matthew Payne

    No self interest at all of course in promoting regulation, its only about protecting these poor private tenants.


    All hail Propertymark, the new Overlords.

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    I am highly sceptical about the training of LA staff working in Social Housing. Most likely it will be training delivered by LA people or with an LA background which will only reinforce the growth of inept management across the sector.

    I am strongly averse to the ‘fix all mantra of Regulation Regulation’ because invariably regulation is poorly researched and even more poorly drawn. The PRS is a good example of just how damaging over regulation can be.

    Agents definitely need to up their game especially in terms of legislative knowledge. Perhaps the best way to guarantee better performance from Agents is to give their ombudsman shchemes ‘teeth’. Regulation and red tape is not the answer.

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    Another reason for agencies to up their commission charges and rightly so if they have to go through a raft of training. In turn this is passed on to the tenants.

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    This is another bill us PLL ‘S will pay as the agent will just increase their monthly charge- say from (12- 14%.). Not be long before us landlords will need a yearly licence and a qualification to do our job. - Blinking interfering pillocks.


    Careful, you will give Propertymark ideas.

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    • s M
    • 11 April 2024 12:45 PM

    I can see NRLA trying to persuade Mr Gove that the only way to lift standards in the PRS is by the use of a mandatory property management qualification. This will be based on the current NRLA accreditation scheme and yes of the course the NRLA will provide the training and the management of the scheme for a fee.

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    NRLA v Propertymark - FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Propertymark by knockout, NRLA will just wander round confused and not do anything


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