ARLA Propertymark CEO David Cox implored letting agents to make their voices heard in the current Government consultation on repealing Section 21.
“I implore you not to complain about it - if you want your voice heard, this is the opportunity,” said Cox in a Goodlord webinar on legislation changes.
“The Government is unlikely to do the opposite of what people say, so if we can squeak over 50% opposition in the public consultation, it will 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 “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 He noted, however, that if it was repealed, Section 8 and the current court processes would need to be fixed first.
“Only once that it 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. “Many people said it would never happen and it did, and they’ve realised that these changes are affecting their businesses,” he says.
“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.”
Cox also addressed the Regulation of Property Agents Report (ROPA), which was welcomed by ARLA Propertymark, and which he believes will reduce the volume of legislation changes that letting agents are currently dealing with.
“If you have a regulated sector, you’re not going to need them all. It’s probably going to save a fortune in compliance.”
He believes 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, better educated, and their businesses will be better.”