Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
Rip-off merchants, cowboys and those who seek to exploit often some of the most vulnerable people in our society have no place in a modern Britain, but does my hon. Friend agree that we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater? Lots of agents are thoroughly respectable and good—invariably estate agents who are small, independent, family-run businesses occupying important plots on our high streets. It is important that we do not destroy their businesses, but at the same time ensure that we have a proper system.
My right hon. Friend makes an important point, but I point out to her that support for regulation and the call for evidence has been welcomed by the Association of Residential Managing Agents, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, the National Landlords Association, the Residential Landlords Association and the Institute of Residential Property Management. Those are credible organisations and they are calling for reform.