LTS claim 46% of London agents are not compliant

by Property 118

8:16 AM, 13th September 2019
About A year ago

LTS claim 46% of London agents are not compliant

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LTS claim 46% of London agents are not compliant

London Trading Standards claim more than 46% of 1,922 agents inspected in the 15 months up to June 2019 by local council trading standards officers in London were non-compliant with either the Consumer Rights Act or the legislation on redress scheme membership.

LTS also report letting agents were fined over £1.2million for breaking the law for not displaying fees and charges or for not being members of a redress scheme. The enforcement survey indicated there were over 6,000 letting agents operating across the capital and over 1,000 complaints about them in total. London boroughs instigated 14 criminal prosecutions for a range of offences including breaches of unfair trading rules.

London Trading Standards’ Operations Director Stephen Knight said: “London borough trading standards teams have been increasingly active in tackling rogue letting agents in recent years, with over £1.2 million of fines issued in the past 15 months and 14 criminal prosecutions, but dodgy agents are far too commonplace across London and private renters need to be very careful not to be ripped off.
Two new laws, the Tenant Fees Act and the Client Money Protection Schemes for Property Agents, which have recently come into force are likely to add significant new protections to tenants. Until now, trading standards teams had limited powers to tackle rogue letting agents. Under the Tenant Fees Act, which applies to tenancies signed since 1 June 2019, agents are banned from charging fees for all but a handful of controlled subjects and deposits are strictly limited. Also, since 1 April 2019, agents must hold any client money in a separate client money account. This must be protected through membership of a client money protection scheme.

London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing and Planning and Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said: “Boroughs are cracking down on rogue letting agents to protect tenants from unfair treatment. As the research shows, this poses a serious challenge in London, where housing pressures are so severe and a significant number of letting agents have been breaking the rules. Borough trading standards teams are crucial for tackling this issue. Through raising awareness, issuing fines and pursuing prosecutions, we’re determined to support tenants and make clear to rogue letting agents that bad practice is unacceptable.”


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Comments

Neil Patterson

13:45 PM, 13th September 2019
About A year ago

David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark comments on today’s figures from London Trading Standards (LTS) on rogue letting agents: “We’re really pleased to see Trading Standards prosecuting bad practice in the industry; it’s the only way to clean up the sector and we’ve been calling for it for a long time. People should remember that if they can’t see an agent’s fee template, CMP certificate and redress scheme membership prominently displayed in their office, that’s three laws that they have already broken. This raises the question what other laws will that agent break? At that stage, a tenant should walk straight out and choose an ARLA Propertymark member where agents follow a strict code of conduct which puts the tenant first. It’s also why we have been calling on the Government to regulate letting agents and are pleased that plans are well underway for mandatory registration and training for all letting agents”.

Chris @ Possession Friend

23:11 PM, 13th September 2019
About A year ago

Oh again, More bias - one-sided perspectives. Is it contagious ?
Trading Standards warning Private "renters" to be careful and not get ripped off, then,
Councillor Darren Rodwell being concerned to protect " Tenants."
Nobody is giving any bloody thought to Landlords suffering at hands of 'Rogue Agents'
If Agents appropriates tenants deposit or Rent, its NOT the tenant that losses, its the ' Landlord ' !!!
Either Trading Standards and Councillors are Totally ignorant of how the PRS works ( which I don't entirely believe, although in part, its true ) or they are just ;
Plain BIASED. ( Blinkered, prejudiced, out of touch with reality, can't see the wood for the trees etc )

Rob Crawford

15:22 PM, 15th September 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 13/09/2019 - 23:11I guess in this case, it's because the agent is employed by the landlord and the tenant is lumbered with the agent the landlord choses!

Chris @ Possession Friend

15:38 PM, 15th September 2019
About A year ago

ALL Landlords ' choose' an Agent but that doesn't stop them being Conned !
Point I thought I'd made was that Landlords As Well as tenants can be victims.

Luke P

22:38 PM, 15th September 2019
About A year ago

I suspect there will be an even greater number of, say, food outlets that are not fully hygiene compliant (arguably more important), but it is accepted that if only 100% compliant premises were allowed to operate, there would be an awful lot fewer and because of that there is, sensibly, a five-star rating scheme. Why is the BTL industry viewed as straight up black or white. Sure we should all strive for perfection, but we live in an imperfect world.
What is it with so-called intellectual humans not applying the same logic and thought-process to different situations? Worse still, we compartmentalise these different issues and seek to justify them.
Sure, if you give a customer food-poisoning your establishment/management will be in for a hefty fine…but only *after* it has gone wrong. A particular highlighted issue that may lead/have led to the poisoning would only attract a reduction in hygiene star-rating itself, but with LLs & agents in a comparable situation they’d be in deep trouble just for the minor transgression without any resulting outcome.


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