CMA to probe letting agents’ role within the private rental sector

Work will also include looking at activities of landlords and probe consumer rights for tenants within the rental market.


Letting agents and landlords face a probe by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after it revealed today that it will be looking into consumer rights within the private rental market.

The watchdog, which has considerable teeth, intends to look into the experience of renters and explore whether more could be done to “help landlords and intermediaries to understand their obligations”.

Consumer enforcement work promised by the DMA includes a focus on tenant’s experiences of finding somewhere to live, renting a property and moving between homes.

The CMA is to also shine a light on the relationship between tenants and landlords and the role of ‘intermediaries’ such as letting agents.

“The quality and cost of housing is one of the biggest issues facing the country,” says Sarah Cardell (main picture), Chief Executive of the CMA.

Real change

Over the last few years, the CMA delivered real change for leaseholders, with tens of thousands of homeowners receiving refunds after being overcharged unfair ground rents.

“With that work nearly finished, we’re now looking to probe in more detail two further areas – the housebuilding and the rental sectors.

“If there are competition issues holding back housebuilding in Britain then we need to find them. But we also need to be realistic that more competition alone won’t unlock a housebuilding boom.

In the same vein, we want to explore the experiences people have of the rental sector and whether there are issues here that the CMA can help with.”

“We will of course be guided by the evidence, but if we find competition or consumer protection concerns we are prepared to take the steps necessary to address them.”

The initiative will run alongside a probe into the UK’s house building sector.

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