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Surveyors want immediate regulation of rental sector – and an end to S21

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors wants the government to implement recent recommendations to regulate the agency industry, starting with the private rental sector.

In a policy paper supporting the recent findings of the Regulation of Property Agents working group, RICS says more must be done in the immediate to bring transparency and standards to the rental sector.

It says that despite the growing size and importance of the sector, continued government interference has led to landlords leaving the market, decreasing stability and standards for tenants.

RICS‘ paper calls for the government to adopt an industry approved Code of Practice immediately. This should be implemented whilst waiting for a new regulator and subsequent standards to be established through RoPA.

RICS believes the way to raise standards in the sector is to ensure that all property agents are regulated to a single, established residential property code – and the institution is itself creating a new rental sector Code of Practice, to be released this autumn.

However, RICS warns against rent controls, as recently advocated by the Mayor of London.

The institution says this will not help affordability in the long run, which comes down to a lack of supply across all tenures rather than issues of private landlords.

It suggests that the Build To Rent sector offers the potential to deliver the homes needed to alleviate the affordability issues caused by a lack of supply.

Less popular with the lettings industry may be RICS’ support for the removal of Section 21 also features in the paper – but it urges government to streamline the court processes for landlords wanting to repossess their properties under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 before changes are made to Section 21.

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