Plans for a code of practice and independent regulator to oversee private rented and leasehold property agents has been welcomed by Island MP Bob Seely

Criminal prosecutions for those who practice in the industry while banned are also part of the plans and all letting and managing agents will have to hold a nationally recognised qualification to practice.

In addition, the Government has pledged to make membership of a client money protection scheme mandatory for property agents in the private rented sector to ensure landlords and tenants are reimbursed if a letting agent is fraudulent or goes bankrupt.

“The letting and leasehold property management sector has expanded over the last 20 years and while most are honest and join trade organisations, some are not and they have caused problems,” said Bob.

“The lack of minimum standards has really been a loophole that the dishonest have used to their advantage. This means it has been difficult for people to gain redress and I have stepped in to help several Islanders with this issue.

“However, these new rules - particularly an independent regulator with enforcement powers who is able to ban agents - is very welcome news.

“The latest announcement also ties in with previous work by the Government to introduce banning orders against the worst landlords and agents and its crackdown on unfair letting fees.”

The communities secretary Sajid Javid proposed the new regulations this week.