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Industry changes Q&A with Darren Clapp

Monday 19 August 2019

Darren Clapp, ARLA Propertymark member and Chief Executive Officer of KPR, a prop tech company which specialises in property reporting and compliance, gives his views on latest industry changes.

What has changed in the property rental industry over the last couple of years?

To name a few - FFHH, MEES, Taxation for Landlords, Tenants Fee Ban, Rights to Rent, Deregulation Act 2015, HMO and Selective Licensing, How to Rent, Smoke Alarm Regulations 2015, Client Money Protection, GDPR, and now the introduction of Mandatory Licensing and Qualifications. This is a serious industry, with mainly only professional staff, who understand the industry and take it at face value of the direction the government are leading it.

How has it changed a lettings and property management agent?

Years ago, anyone could open the doors and manage property; someone could produce a standard tenancy agreement and that was that, but now an agent must be on top of procedures and stay with the moving times, abide by new legislation and ensure staff are adequately trained.

If you are a landlord, what should you do to understand the changes?

Landlords, in my view, should look out for an ARLA Propertymark accredited agency, or a recognised scheme, but also, ensure an agent is a member of a redress scheme, e.g. The Property Ombudsman, and they have Client Money Protection in place. Once an agent has these things, they should be able to provide detailed and knowledgeable advice to answer any questions about the changes and the industry. Unfortunately, the days of someone looking to purchase a property and manage the property themselves are extremely difficult now, and my advice would be to always look for a reputable letting agent.

Do you personally agree with the changes?

Yes, strangely enough I do. The government have a clear and transparent vision for the industry, and it will, without doubt, benefit the professional and serious letting agents and landlords. I look at Scottish Property Law, which is very different to English Property Law, and some would say we are following it; I mention this as, in Scotland everyone knows exactly where they are and what’s involved, and it’s working.

If you could change one thing, what would it be?

Cap the tenants fee, rather than abolish all fees and penalise landlords. I also would have gradually introduced new legislation, so there was a structure that could be followed, rather than too much change all at once.

In your opinion, what will be next?

I think there will be 3 things introduced into the industry in the next few years:

1) Regulation of Property Agents

2) Changes to the Section 21

3) The introduction of the Property MOT/Property Audits.

For me, I feel the latter would be an excellent thing to be brought into the industry, not only due the amount of laws and legislation, but also the safety aspects towards a property, as the audit will provide a checklist and safety net to help agents.

The perfect analogy is a car MOT; your car has an annual check to ensure it’s safe and fit to drive on the roads, so why shouldn’t we have a property MOT, to ensure a property complies to legislation and is Fit for Human Habitation? Tenants have a right to expect that homes are fit for human habitation and a large majority of good landlords already provide this. The bill, therefore, reinforces what landlords should already be doing.

As CEO of an actively growing prop tech company, with my dedicated team, we are listening to clients and keeping abreast of the industry changes to provide solutions to help agents.

Contact us on 0208 54 22 333 or email me on for more information.