The Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) has urged the government to do more to cut out rogue operators in the private rented sector.

Ian Potter, operations manager at Arla, said that unscrupulous letting agents and property owners can have a negative effect on both private landlords and tenants.

He added that the regulation of lettings, residential sales and management agents should be combined to create "a firm professional basis"for the industry.

"We estimate that around half of letting agents still do not belong to a professional body,"Mr Potter continued. "This poses a risk to new landlords as well as tenants."

Earlier this year, the Communities and Local Government department proposed a landlord register as one method for monitoring the sector.

However, there has been opposition to the plans and the National Landlords Association said this week that England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland all have different views on this regulation.

Written by Claire Doyle

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