ARLA Propertymark boss David Cox has urged letting agents to respond to the consultation on repealing Section 21 – something he warned could “break the industry”.
At a webinar yesterday, Cox said agents should not simply complain: “If you want your voice heard, this is the opportunity.”
He said that if over half of the responses expressed opposition, it would make it much more difficult for the Government to enact it.
Cox reiterated ARLA Propertymark’s opposition to the repeal of Section 21 and said he “wasn’t willing to cede” that the repeal would be successful.
He noted, however, that if it was repealed, Section 8 and the current court processes would need to be fixed first.
He said: “Only once that is working should we remove Section 21, rather than go hell for leather and break the industry – because that’s what they will do.”
Cox suggested that letting agents were taking the proposed repeal of Section 21 more seriously after the Tenant Fees Act.
He said: “Many people said it [the ban] would never happen and it did, and they’ve realised that these changes are affecting their businesses.
“It hasn’t had the massive impact on businesses closing that we were expecting – it has unquestionably hit hard, but most businesses have found a way to survive.”
Speaking at the webinar hosted by lettings platform Goodlord, Cox also addressed the Regulation of Property Agents Report (RoPA).
He said he welcomed this and believed acceptance of its recommendations would reduce the volume of legislation changes that letting agents are currently dealing with.
He said: “If you have a regulated sector, you’re not going to need them all. It’s probably going to save a fortune in compliance.”
Cox said that regulation will improve the standards of the lettings industry.
“We’re going through a period of pain,” he said.
“Agencies who embrace these changes, that are planning for them and getting ahead of them, are the ones that will survive.
“They’ll be stronger and better educated, and their businesses will be better.”
The consultation on the proposed abolition of Section 21 runs until October 12.
It can be found here:
Yesterday’s full webinar can be seen here: