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Ian Potter, Operations Manager for ARLA; "As Britain is apparently on the verge of becoming a 'nation of renters', renting is now a necessary choice for many people who cannot afford the deposit needed to buy their own home; indeed, for some it is a more flexible option than buying. It is critical, therefore, that the Private Rented Sector is treated with greater seriousness by the Government - the first step in this approach should be enforcement of existing requirementsto protect tenants withactionbeingtakenby local authorities to ensure a landlord provides a safe home. Additionally, many agents offer no consumer protection by means of Client Money Protection or fail to offer consumer redress through an Ombudsman Scheme. Both elements, when combined with a professional training and qualification programme, will allow tenants to enter this market with confidence. "The threat posed byunlicensed agents grows more pressing as the market expands, placing both landlords and tenants at increased risk of financial loss. Until that time as the Government steps in to regulate, our advice to anyone looking to rent a property would be to use an ARLA-licensed lettings agent to ensure they're protected against unethical agents. It was only last week that an agent in the East Midlands was reported to have disappeared with client funds. This type of behaviour cannot and must not be tolerated." Rob Wellstead, Managing Director of Lenwell said; 'Lenwell have been bonded members of ARLA since 1993 and agree that all letting agents must be licensed to operate. I hope the recent collapse of lettings firm 'Thomas & Co' will help to encourage the government make this easy step of ensuring every letting agent works within a regulated framework. The stress caused to landlords and tenants when an agent ceases to trade is considerable and can be avoided with a simple peace of legislation.'
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Association of Residential Letting Agents
National Association of Estate Agents
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