The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has called on the Government to stop meddling with the private rented sector.
It has said that the Government should adopt the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents report without delay.
The RICS has also revealed that it is working on an updated code of practice to be released this autumn, and which could regulate all agents.
In a new policy statement, the RICS said that the private rented sector has doubled over the last 20 years and is now home to a fifth of all households.
However, it goes on: “Continued government interference in the sector has led to landlords leaving the market, leading to the leakage of stock into sale and decreasing stability and standards for tenants.
“The RICS asks Government to adopt and support RoPA recommendations. This means adopting minimum standards, accreditation of practitioners, and compulsory continuous professional development.”
The RICS says that all property agents should be regulated to a single property code, which should be extended to private landlords.
The organisation also warns against rent controls, saying these will not alleviate affordability issues as private landlords exit the market.
The new policy paper does however show the RICS’s support for the abolition of Section 21, but the organisation calls for court processes for repossession proceedings to be streamlined before Section 21 is removed from the statute books.
Tamara Hooper, RICS policy manager, said: “The private rented sector is a tenure that will continue to grow strongly over the coming years notwithstanding the increased freedom presented to local authorities to increase their development pipeline.
“The PRS has always been a careful balance between landlords’ and tenants’ rights and obligations, and any changes and interference from Government should aim to maintain and enhance this balance.
“The Government needs to ensure the sector is effectively governed, reflecting the requirements of both landlords and tenants and the needs for standards and supply.
“Domestic issues such as housing, which handle the basic human right of shelter, are too important to be lost in the understandable current focus around the country’s departure from the EU.”