Century 21 UK Comments On New Fee Requirements For Letting Agents

Rob Clifford, Chief Executive of CENTURY 21 UK, commented on Tuesday’s vote in the House of Commons requiring letting agents to publish full details of all fees.

“In our view common sense has prevailed and we will work with all our offices across the UK to ensure they comply with the new regulations requiring full transparency of all fees. The Labour Party’s amendment - which could have resulted in a total ban on charging fees to tenants – was misguided and would ultimately have left tenants facing higher rents in order to cover the extra costs faced by landlords. What is required is a measured view which shows a complete commitment to driving out poor practice and unprofessional operators from the lettings market – this can be achieved without altering the economics of the market through such a blunt instrument as prohibiting fees.

“CENTURY 21 UK believes that there should be more significant barriers to entry to the lettings market and a range of measures in place which would prevent unscrupulous agents and practices. The Government and regulators should be concerning themselves with the fact there are no real fitness and propriety thresholds for prospective lettings agents neither are there any compulsory professional qualifications or mandatory professional indemnity insurance requirements. Regulation of the commercial arrangements between consumers and agents is not what is required – rather, much like in the regulated mortgage intermediary market, consumer protection should start with policing the quality of the agent.”