Professional body, the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), has announced a new initiative to help councils effectively regulate the lettings industry and raise standards.
The Effective Enforcement Toolkit has been designed in collaboration with a number of local councils and industry experts across the UK to give enforcement officers increased guidance and advice. This will provide much need information for when councils are dealing with letting agents who are failing to comply with the law.
NALS identified the need for guidance following cuts to the resources available to local authorities. Research carried out by the trade body shows that 84% of local authorities had attempted to promote new requirements for letting agents, whilst only 16% had gone through to issue penalties.
“Only by raising standards across the sector can we start to tackle the small minority whose rogue activities tarnish our reputation. This Toolkit is designed to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for local authorities working within the private rented sector” – Isobel Thomson, CEO of NALS
The aim of the toolkit is to equip councils with the information they need to effectively police the legislation and to assist with issuing penalties to rogue letting agents who are not complying with their legal requirements.
The three main focuses of the Effective Enforcement Toolkit are:
- The requirement for all letting agents to be a member of a government approved consumer redress scheme;
- The requirement for all letting agents to display what redress scheme they are a member of, whether or not they hold client money protection and to openly display their fees;
- The power of the local authorities to issue fines of up to £5,000.00 for those agents that are not complying.
We caught up with Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme who said:
“The Effective Enforcement Toolkit is an excellent initiative from NALS and provides the local authorities with the support they need to help regulate the sector and improve standards across the board.”
As a government authorised scheme, mydeposits fully supports and encourages a professional and transparent private rented sector. In addition to the excellent new NALS initiative, mydeposits’ partner organisations are also well placed to provide letting agents with a solution to staying fully compliant.
Therefore, to help support this motion, we’ve gotten together with our partners to create one, easy to use “Letting Agent Toolkit”, which includes the essentials; membership to the Property Redress Scheme, deposit protection with mydeposits, client money protection and professional indemnity insurance – Click find out more for the full details regarding the bundle offer.