DCLG consultation 2 - Protecting Consumers in the letting and managing agent market

In the wake of the Clean Growth Strategy Government have published a flurry of consultation documents, and "calls for evidence", that impact on EPCs. The latest titled 'Protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market' is requesting evidence that consumers have inadequate protection from unscrupulous letting and managing agents in the private rented residential sector.

The Government states that there is "overwhelming evidence of the harm that some people experience" and cite evidence such as;

  • consumers being over charged up to £1.4 Billion
  • 66% of responders to a survey considered the service form letting agents was less than good
  • 5000 complaints received concerning the activities of letting agents

The current regulatory framework  means that anyone can become a property management agent and whilst many are "professional", the Government declares, others are not.

Elmhurst Energy does not have strong views about the performance of letting agents, or managing agents, or how the sector should be regulated. However, we will be responding with evidence that suggests that some agents, who may be the only "expert" a private tenant encounters when renting a property, are not currently meeting their regulatory obligations when it comes to energy efficiency.

Since 2008 regulations (most recently the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations) have required an EPC to be held for any property placed on the market for rent and yet there is clear evidence that properties are currently being marketed without one.

The legal requirement to present an EPC now has a new focus because the PRS /Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards specify that properties with an EPC of F or G must be either improved and reassessed, or a complex exemption applied for.

Elmhurst believe that letting agents must be required to know the legal obligations that apply to themselves and their clients (the landlords and tenants) and if they, through ignorance or criminal intent, facilitate non compliance then there should be an effective sanctions applied by their regulatory authority.

Elmhurst will be responding to DCLG's Call for evidence, and will publish its views for members to review. Elmhurst members are encouraged to do likewise.

The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 29th November 2017

The call for evidence can be accessed here.

Article Published: 27th November 2017

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