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Finally, may I deal with the private rented sector? The House will have been appalled to hear of the case that my hon. Friend drew to our attention and of the callous words of the letting agent as they affected his constituent. We must recognise that the private rented sector is significant: 13% of households are in the private rented
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sector, and some tenants in that sector face problems of overcrowding, poor-quality accommodation and difficulties with the letting agents themselves. I certainly have a great deal of sympathy for anyone who suffers as a result of poor practice by a letting or managing agent.

We advise anyone contemplating renting or letting a property through an agent to use one who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors scheme, the Association of Residential Letting Agents or the national approved letting scheme. About half the agents are members of those organisations. I look forward to working with my hon. Friend over the coming months and years to make sure that what he wants, what I want and what the Government want-

11.15 pm

House adjourned without Question put (Standing Order No. 9(7)).

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