London Trading Standards are targeting letting agents who do not abide by the rules in a bid to support tenants in London.
During ‘London Trading Standards Week’ this week, representatives from 15 departments will visit Letting and Property Management agents across the capital to ensure that they are meeting requirements.
All letting agents must display their fees and other relevant information online and in their branches so prospective tenants and landlords know exactly what they’re paying from the outset when entering a rental agreement. While most agents fully comply with legal requirements, those that don’t can face a fine of up to £5,000 per offence.
London Trading Standards has also teamed up with the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), to improve standards across the sector.
NALS has developed an online training course focusing on effective enforcement against agents who do not display fees or their membership of a redress or client money protection scheme.
NALS CEO, Isobel Thomson, said: ‘Trading Standards play a vital enforcement role in the lettings landscape, ensuring agents trade fairly and consumers are protected. We are delighted that London has taken a lead in increasing their activity and raising awareness so that rogue agents should not simply slip under the radar.’
James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, said: ‘London’s two million renters deserve a better deal, which is why the Mayor has worked closely with partners across the sector to persuade Government to ban letting agent fees and cap rental deposits. These up-front charges pile more pressure on renters who are already struggling with costs, and the Mayor is keen to see Government implement these measures without delay.’
He continued: ‘We very much welcome London Trading Standards’ crackdown on letting agents who break the law, and we believe Government must ensure this vital work is properly resourced in the future.’