The National Association of Estate Agents and the Association of Residential Letting Agents have asked new housing minister Gavin Barwell to rethink government proposals to sell off the Land Registry. Earlier this month a spokesman in the David Cameron-led government said any final decision on the controversial privatisation would await the new administration. Some in the property industry, and many Conservative and Labour MPs, have suggested that the proposed privatisation may lead to a lack of transparency in transactions and could reduce the quality of information available from the Registry.
Now David Cox, managing director of ARLA, and Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, have called for a rethink.
“The government’s decision to sell the Land Registry risks reversing its good work on transparency and we call on the new minister to work with the new Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department to think again on this proposal” they say in a joint statement. The organisations have congratulated Barwell on his new role.
“This is a crucial time for housing, with demand greatly outstripping supply and an urgent need to reshape Britain’s housing mix. We worked closely with the previous administration to increase transparency in the UK property and sector and remain very supportive of the need for a beneficial ownership register” the pair say. “It is also essential that Gavin honours the commitment of his predecessor to bring forward a review of the need for mandatory Client Money Protection for letting agents, following the discretionary powers that were brought in as part of the Housing and Planning Act. Only this can provide the adequate level of protection for landlords and tenants alike.”