The Tory MP for Rugby, Mark Pawsey, has claimed
that tenants are puzzled by the lack of regulation for letting
agents in England and Wales, particularly considering the
regulation which is placed upon estate
A select committee says that it is unclear to tenants why,
on "side of the office" the estate agents are subject to carefully
administered rules, while letting agents - outside Scotland, at
least - are free to charge whatever fees they deem fit.
The CLG Select Committee reporting on the private rental
sector - which Pawsey is a member of - including among its key
recommendations the advice that professional indemnity, electrical
dafety checks and CMP insurance are made mandatory, and that a
careful eye be kept on Scotland to see if the criminalisation of
agents' fees is having a positive effect.
Committee chairman urges "transparency" for
Clive Betts, chairman of the committee, said: "The first
step has to be transparency. Wherever a property is advertised to
let -in a window, on a website or in a newspaper - it should be
accompanied by a full breakdown of the fees that a tenant is likely
to have to pay.
"No more hooking the tenant with a property that they like, and
then, once they are interested and are looking to sign the tenancy
agreement, letting the hidden fees come out, little by little -
"We are talking about costs that the tenant never anticipated, and
that can run into the hundreds of pounds. Also, there should
certainly be no more charging the landlord and the tenant for the
same service; that is completely and utterly unacceptable, and
should be banned."
However there is a dissenting view, with one
commenter commenter wondering whether Pawsey and Betts' image of
the bewildered customer may not be something of a fabrication: "in
my experience cannot recall a time when this question was EVER
brought up by visitors to the office."