Rental sector is not under attack but IS under the microscope
Thursday, April 18, 2013 | by Ed Mead
There’s a lot of guff seemingly being spouted about the private rented sector being “under attack”, it’s not but is under the microscope. Having watched despondently as the usual minority created problems for the majority it’s heartening that in a fit of usefulness the Coalition have decided they’re going to bring ALL lettings agents into the mandatory redress fold. So at last tenants and landlords will have someone to go to if they’re badly treated. I’m not sure I’d describe that as being under attack.
The Private Rented Sector is now bigger than the assisted rental sector and looks set to become people’s preferred tenure as owning starts to lose its sheen. Unbelievably irritating hyperbole like “25% of all UK adults ripped off by lettings agents” from the usually robust Shelter and “Kings Ransom” fees from Brian Milligan at the BBC all paint a picture of a sector in crisis and in an Industry replete with awful caricatures all this was bound to help the anti-agent lobby. Given this is driven by headlines all it needs is for a journalist to have one bad experience and suddenly millions are in the know. That’s true of any Industry but sadly ours has no bar to entry at all and attracts some really thick people for whom that total lack of restriction is a major draw. Maybe this will make them think again.
It’s unsurprising that the private selling/renting sector has been jumping on the bandwagon and because we live in a free market if you don’t like agents don’t use them. The majority of those who bemoan agents use them eventually because they find that NOT using them doesn’t work.
It’s a well-used quote but bears repetition, but as the fire fighter Red Adair said “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”