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The Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Bill is now closer to becoming law

20 March 2019

On 19 March 2019, the legislation that will ban most fees to tenants in Wales passed Stage 3 of legislative proceedings in the Welsh Assembly. Read More...

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Homes Act comes into force on 20 March 2019

19 March 2019

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Behind the scenes with David Cox

Tuesday 20 February 2018

The big news from January was that ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, David Cox gave exceptional evidence at the CLG Select Committee’s evidence session on the Private Rented Sector and Draft Tenant Fees Bill, but did you know it's part of a much wider lobbying strategy?

To maintain our high levels of influence with the Government, we need to ensure that our expertise, member’s views and industry research is considered and acted upon when it comes to shaping the future of legislation. Therefore, it’s crucial that we take a multi-pronged approach and regularly meet with MPs from all sides and civil servants so that they know and understand our stance on key issues that lettings agents face. 

This is just a snapshot of what David Cox has been up to over the last month:

On 25 January, David was speaking at ‘Agenda for Change – London lettings sector’, a cross industry partnership seminar organised by London Trading Standards, with the aim of encouraging closer working relationships between the various stakeholders and ensuring that organisations share intelligence in order to improve the sector. It was also think tank a for ideas, giving those attending a chance to put forward ideas for change and ways to improve enforcement across the city, so that rogue agents and landlords are stamped out.

Shelter, ARL, NALS, Greater London Authority and MHCLG lettings were also present and there was a session highlighting recent court cases taken by London Boroughs.

David talked about challenges from a letting agent’s perspective and set our objectives and recommendations on the way forward for enforcement, taking into account practical issues such as resources, and also providing evidence about what doesn’t work, such as licensing schemes.

Speaking after the event, David said: “We are pleased to be involved in this event as it is only by coming together like this, with Trading Standards departments and the industry sharing ideas and best practice in how to tackle criminal landlords and agents, will we build a better private rented sector for those who make it their home”.

He met with the new Deputy Director of Private Rented Sector at MHCLG, Anne Frost who was appointed to the role in January 2018, – hoping to build a strong foundation from the outset, so that we can continue the good working relationship that we had with her predecessor and ensure we remain a trusted voice for the industry, that they turn to when planning and implementing strategies for the future.

As Anne Frost is new to the post it was a great opportunity to re-iterate first-hand who we are, what we do, what form of regulation we’d like to see for the sector, and why our agents are the shining example of our aspiration for the sector.

David also met with Heather Wheeler MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) who has responsibility for the Private Rented Sector, redress schemes and homelessness.  It was a chance to discuss in detail upcoming legislation and for us to drill down and ask about her about timetables for implementation and also give our views on the current web of legislation and regulation, and more importantly what needs to change.

We laid out our vision for an improved private rented sector – one with regulation that is workable and encompasses the whole industry rather than piecemeal legislation covering different elements of the sector. He also spoke about how the Draft Tenant Fees Bill needs to gives greater consideration and clarity on areas such as referencing checks, and leaving a tenancy early.