Enforcement of client money protection schemes for property agents

Tenant Fees Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 12th June 2018.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Clause 21 amends section 135 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. It makes enforcement of the requirement for letting agents to belong to a client money protection scheme the responsibility of trading standards authorities. That has the effect in non-unitary authorities of moving the enforcement responsibility from district councils to county councils. Trading standards are best placed to enforce this provision due to their role in enforcing other legislation relating to letting agents. The change will ensure better alignment between enforcement of the provisions of the Tenant Fees Bill and client money protection.

In November to December last year, the Government consulted on the implementation of client money protection. I am pleased to say that the majority of the respondents—74%—agreed that enforcement responsibility should sit with trading standards rather than district councils, given their skills and experience. To ensure joined-up enforcement of relevant letting agent legislation, I beg to move that clause 21 stands part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 21 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 22