A centralised enforcement body to ensure compliance with the tenant fees ban has been appointed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The new team is being set up within Bristol City Council’s Trading Standards division to coordinate national enforcement when the Tenant Fees Act comes into force on 1 June. It will regulate the private rental sector in England, protecting tenants and safeguarding compliant letting agents.
The team will work closely with Powys County Council, which leads on estate agency enforcement, and together they will form the new National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team, funded by MHCLG.
Team head James Munro said: “Bringing the two functions – lead enforcement authority for estate agency work and lead enforcement authority for lettings agency work – under one team will mean there is a single point of contact for enforcement work in this area. This single team approach will help us uphold consumers’ rights and enforce the law.”
The total funding for the combined body will be £740,000, excluding start-up and training costs. There will be seven full-time officers plus two part-time adjudicators working for Powys and four members of staff managing lettings enforcement in Bristol. The team leader role will be split across both estate agency and lettings.
Bristol City Council cabinet member with responsibility for regulatory services, Steve Pearce, said: “This places us at the heart of influencing the government policy to help enhance consumer protection.
“This is a hugely challenging area of regulation and we look forward to playing a leading role assisting enforcement authorities in the course of their duties.”