Tenants and property investors are shocked to discover that landlords, letting agents and landlords are not regulated, according to new research from Propertymark.
Of those who bought, sold or rented a property in the last five years, 54 per cent have faced issues. During 2016, over one million homes were bought or sold in England and Wales. The majority of these will have seen involvement from an agent.
However, Propertymark’s research discovered that 37 per cent of buyers and sellers and 42 per cent of renters did not consider as to whether their agent was part of a professional body before beginning their transaction. For 42 per cent of tenants, it simply did not occur to them to ask. However, one in six, or 14 per cent, wrongly assumed that all agents were regulated.
Of those who faced issues, 57 per cent had not checked if their landlord or letting agent was covered. This lead to problems which could range from a long wait for any issues with the property to be resolved, a predicament faced by 38 per cent. 20 per cent struggled to get old items replaced, whilst 12 per cent did not get their full deposits back and were also not told why this was.
Those who remembered to check that their agent was a member of a professional body had shorter waiting times when things needed fixing in their properties. 41 per cent said that issues were typically addressed within a week. In contrast, just 25 per cent of those who did not check the status of their agent had their issues solved in 7 days.
Just 47 per cent of buyers or sellers confirmed that their estate agent was regulated before moving ahead with the sale or purchase. In a similar trend to renters, 37 per cent just didn’t think about it. 14 per cent prioritised the property.
53 per cent encountered issues such as bad communication with their agent, whilst 19 per cent felt as though the agent didn’t care about them. 10 per cent felt pressurised to buy.