Housing minister Heather Wheeler has not ruled out the tenant fees ban in England being scrapped in the future if it was shown to have increased rents.
Speaking at the ARLA Propertymark conference, Wheeler defended Government policy on landlords and letting agents amid a swathe of questions over the tenant fees ban, tax changes and Right to Rent.
Asked if the Government would scrap the ban when it comes to review its impact if rents had risen as a result of the legislation, Wheeler said: “Let us see where the evidence takes us.
“In Scotland – where fees are already banned – rents are going up a bit but there are now more agents, it is about making sure you offer the best service you can.”
Wheeler rejected claims that the Government was pushing out private landlords.
She said: “We only want to push the rogues out, we want you to make money.
“I appreciate the tax changes coming with these regulations is a little bit of a double whammy, but things did need to change.
“This is a business that is for the long term, you should carry on investing in it.”
She said the Home Office was looking at reviewing the recent court ruling against Right to Rent, adding: “We will get guidance and regulations out as soon as possible so you are on the right side.”
Wheeler also highlighted several documents to be released in the coming months that she said would “level the playing field for landlords, agents and tenants”.
She said a Government response to a consultation on three-year tenancies, which has had more than 8,000 responses, will be published in “another month or so”.
Wheeler also said a report on the impact of selective licensing will be released in the Spring, while Lord Best’s review of professional standards in the agency sector will report in July.
This video, an interview by Property Tribes with ARLA chief executive David Cox, was done at yesterday’s ARLA conference: