The Competition and Markets Authority are currently reaching out to the lettings community to ask for their input with some research on issues affecting low income consumers.
The CMA are an independent non-ministerial department which works to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK. Their aim is to make markets work well for all consumers, businesses and the economy.
Part of this work involves engaging with sectors to identify issues affecting consumers. They are currently seeking specific input from the PRS and you can support this research by commenting on their blogs.
These cover both low income consumers’ experience of the private rental market and their ability to access redress across all markets.
At the recent NALS Northern Conference in York, SAFEagent Steering Group leader, John Midgely, was very keen that policy was not London-led and that agents throughout the U.K. should get involved in shaping the future of the sector:
As John mentioned, SAFEagent believes that it is vital that those on low incomes are educated to let through agents who have recognised client money protection in place, as unfortunately, redress will not help if they have lost money to a rogue agent.
Please support this initiative by visiting the CMA blogs mentioned above.
SAFEagent – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a reliable mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through Client Money Protection schemes. Set up ‘by the industry, for the industry’ and recognised by the Government, it is supported by Citizens Advice Bureaux, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services:Property, National Union of Students, My Deposits, TDS and DPS.
All agents registered with SAFEagent are part of a Client Money Protection Scheme which reimburses consumers in the event of misappropriation of clients’ funds. There are several schemes in the sector operated by NALS, ARLA, NAEA and RICS to which agents voluntarily belong. The scope of these schemes varies and consumers should contact their agent for full details of the scheme of which they are a part.
The SAFEagent Steering Group comprises:
Northwood; Belvoir; Bushells; Foxtons; Touchstone; Winkworth; Hunters, Spicerhaart, Sequence, Countrywide, and Leaders.