By Daniel Hunter

Changes to the way the insolvency industry is regulated are finally being detailed today (Thursday), but landlords feel they have arrived too late.

The changes, unveiled by Jo Swinson MP, come in the same week it was announced the Insolvency Service will investigate the events surrounding the collapse of iconic electrical retailer Comet, and after years of lobbying by the British Property Federation.

The property industry has repeatedly made the case for reform of the insolvency system, particularly in relation to pre-pack administrations and payment of rent during insolvency, which it feels is too far tipped towards company rescue, regardless of the consequences for creditors.

The changes include:

- Jo Swinson MP has commissioned Professor Elaine Kempson from the University of Bristol to do a review in insolvency practitioner fee charging and whether it offers the best value and fairness for all involved.

- The Insolvency Sevice will in the Spring create a single complaints portal so complaints against practictioners can be made in an easier and more transparent way. Alongside this will be sanctions guidance.

“Today’s changes are a small step in the right direction, although why it has taken so long to create a portal and improve the sector’s complaints systems remains a mystery," Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said.

"Insolvency practitioners are excellent at moving quickly to rescue companies. Unfortunately, the same speed is not exhibited by their regulatory bodies. The Offiice of Fair Trading published a study in 2010 calling for these changes, and we’re still being promised jam tomorrow rather than action today.”

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