16:18 PM, 20th September 2011, About 10 years ago 1
In a damning indictment of the industry, Paul Weller of south east based Leaders hits out against dishonest and incompetent letting agents – but alleges the problems have dogged landlords and tenants for 28 years.
His comments follow confirmation from Housing Minister Grant Shapps that no new laws to regulate letting agents are in the pipeline. Leaders had joined other lettings specialists to lobby for action to tackle rogue businesses in recent years to no avail.
“We are very disappointed by the government’s refusal to act to protect landlords and tenants from unscrupulous and incompetent letting agents,” said Weller.
“At a time when more people are turning to this sector than ever, many are unaware that there is no proper regulation governing letting agents, despite the plethora of legislation that applies to letting itself.”
Weller blames unqualified and unregulated letting agents for the industry’s tarnished image.
“Over the decades we have been in business, we have seen countless landlords and tenants let down by incompetent and dishonest letting agents,” he said.
“Under the current system, there is no legislation in place to prevent letting agents from using tenant’s deposits and landlord’s rents for their own purposes, and nothing that requires them to be qualified and understand the regulations that govern the practice of letting and property management.”
Weller also berated unprofessional letting agents for leaving tenants at risk.
“The issue of unregulated agents is not only about money,” said Weller. “If letting agents do not know and comply with the many regulations that apply to letting, properties can be unsafe and the landlord’s and tenant’s interests unprotected during the tenancy.
“Letting agents need to be experienced, knowledgeable and competent to let and manage property, with a thorough understanding of the complex legislation surrounding letting.”
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