RICS blames ‘wild west’ of parts of lettings industry for lack of public confidence in rental sector

The RICS has expressed hopes that regulation of the agency sector will help stem the decline in landlord instructions.

The August RICS Residential Market Survey says that tenant demand rose for the eighth consecutive month and is regularly outstripping supply as landlord instructions continue to decline.

Surveyors warn this could result in rent increases.

Hew Edgar, head of UK Government relations and city at RICS, said: “The ever-changing policy landscape is damaging confidence in the lettings market.

“But the private rented sector has the enormous potential to deliver more homes that are urgently needed, and to contribute to the alleviation of the affordability issues which are being exacerbated by the ongoing dearth of supply across all tenures.

“The need for the regulation of property agents – including those operating in the PRS – is critical in order to make the sector more attractive to landlords, and of equal importance, enhance the landlord-tenant relationship.

“To assist this recommended regulation, we are working with industry to develop an approved PRS Code of Practice.

“We have also worked with Lord Best as part of his Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) working group, to help bring positive change and increase public confidence in the sector, parts of which have been likened to the wild west.”

Surveyors remained gloomy about the sales market, reporting that new instructions and buyer enquiries remained flat.

The research – among 750 branches coming from 361 responses – showed that 23% more surveyors expect sales to fall in the final three months of the year than expect sales to rise, a period encompassing the current October 31 Brexit deadline.

This was the poorest outlook since February.

London is most pessimistic, with a net balance of 41% expecting a fall rather than a rise in transactions over the next three months.

Demand from new buyers in London also fell, RICS said.

There was more optimism about the next 12 months nationally, with 5% more expecting an increase rather than a decrease in activity.


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  1. Mrlondon52

    Still don’t understand why RICS think they have such a strong view on lettings – surveyors do not get involved in rentals: they do not value rents, they are not involved in our version of dilaps (end of tenancy check out). Why? As nobody will pay for their time in the tenant lifecycle. After ~15 yrs in lettings I’ve never seen surveyor other than when clients bought properties or in commercial transactions.

    So why do RICS think they should lead the changes on the PRS? Pls explain, I don’t get it.

    1. bren_gun

      Because they want to be the single property ombudsman

    2. Will2

      Because they want to charge high membership fees in return for nought other than flexing their muscles

  2. Cyberpunk35

    An almost entirely defunct organisation that is no longer fit for purpose in these modern times. The RICS have stood by idly watching and waiting as every legislative change hammers home yet another nail in the coffin of the lettings industry. It is easy to stand there in the corner tutting and deriding thousands of dedicated professionals merely because they do not belong to your special club, rubbing your hands together praying you have some stake in the regulation process. Another license to print money for an organisation that consistently fails to champion the rights of decent agents up and down the country. Down with the RICS, long live lettings.

  3. Woodentop

    Omitted in the report is the constant attack on Landlords within PRS that is driving them out of the sector and making new ones hesitate. As if the idea that cleaning up (the minority) of rogue agents is going to make any real difference. Laughable to claim “ regulation of the agency sector will help stem the decline in landlord instructions” . Cynics will claim this is nothing more than a PR stunt by RICS, who have very little involvement in lettings.


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