At the annual Association of Residential Managing Agents’ (ARMA) conference yesterday (18 October 2017), the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that the Government is planning new measures to help create a fairer property management system that works for everyone and are considering creating a new independent regulatory body to oversee leasehold and private rented management.
Since 2010, the Government has taken action by making it a requirement for all letting and management agents to belong to a redress scheme, and they have introduced a range of tougher measures to target rogue landlords and agents in the private rented sector.
However, in a study conducted by consumer group Which? shows that unfair practices in the UK are leading to as much as £700 million in unnecessary service charges being paid each year, and other organisations such as the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on leaseholds believe the total could be as much as £1.4 billion.
With over 4.2 million leasehold homes throughout the UK and service charges reaching between £2.5 billion and £3.5 billion a year, Mr Javid has said that the government is determined to fix the problems in the property management industry, drive down costs and protect consumers from the small minority of rogue agents.
In a statement, Mr Javid said: “We are showing our determination to give power back to consumers so they have the service they expect and deserve, as part of my drive to deliver transparency and fairness for the growing number of renters and leaseholders.”
To decide on how they might achieve these goals, the Government is initiating a six-week consultation period in which a study will be carried out regarding: