Monday, August 21, 2023


At the 2020 election, Labour promised to regulate property managers. In February 2022, they said they were actually doing it. In November 2022, they repeated that claim. Now, less than two months from the election, they've finally introduced the legislation. Whether doing something grudgingly, at the last possible minute, and after years of foot-dragging counts (and when it won't actually pass before the election) counts as keeping their promise is left as an exercise for the reader.

As for the legislation itself, it would require property managers to be licenced, with criminal penalties for doing business without a licence. There will be a complaints regime, allowing licences to be suspended or revoked, but weirdly failing to comply with the Residential tenancies Act won't be a grounds for complaint, and there'll be no automatic notification tot he disciplinary tribunal if a property manager is found to have done so by the Tenancy Tribunal (these seem like good things to push for at select committee). Delivering services "in a way that falls short of the standard that a reasonable member of the public is entitled to expect" is grounds for a complaint, and I suspect that clause is going to get a real workout.

The legislation might get a first reading before the election, but it won't be getting any further until afterwards. Which means that if you want it to pass, you need to vote for a party which will support it, rather than a landlord party which won't.