ARLA Calls For Government Crackdown On Rogue Agents
One leading letting agents' organisation is calling on the government to get tough with a clampdown on rogue letting agents in the country.
Arla Propertymark says that more could be done after a warning from London Trading Standards that many landlords and tenants in the capital are being ‘ripped off’ by rogue letting agencies.
The warning comes after trading standards there said that agents in the capital have been fined £1.2 million for breaking laws over the last 15 months.
They say that of the 1,922 letting agents that were inspected over 15 months to June this year, 46% did not comply with redress scheme membership legislation and/or the Consumer Rights Act.
Letting agents breaching unfair trading rules
Along with fines, 14 criminal prosecutions were made for a variety of offences including agents breaching unfair trading rules.
Arla's chief executive, David Cox, said: "We are pleased to see that trading standards are prosecuting bad practice as it will clean up the sector and it's something we have called for.
"If people cannot see the agent's fee template, redress scheme membership or their CMP certificate being displayed prominently, then that's three laws they have broken.
"This raises the question of laws the agent will break and a tenant should walk out and choose a member of Arla Propertymark who follow a code of conduct that will put the tenant first."
He added: "We have been calling on the government for the regulation of letting agents and we are pleased to see plans are underway for mandatory training and registration of all agents."
Scottish landlords should get 'financial support'
Meanwhile, one organisation in Scotland says that those landlords who are providing affordable homes for tenants should receive greater financial support to comply with new energy efficiency regulations.
The call comes from Scottish Land & Estates who say the Scottish government should do more to help private landlords offering affordable rental homes.
They say these landlords should have access to the same funds that are enjoyed by housing associations and other landlords in the public sector.
They were responding to the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations published by the Scottish government.
Energy efficiency in private rented sector homes
The new regulations will improve energy efficiency in private rented sector homes to make buildings greener and warmer, as well as more efficient.
Scottish Land & Estates' head of policy, Stephen Young, said: "Improving energy efficiency is important to keep bills low but many properties require money being spent on them.
"That's why we say the Scottish government should ensure that landlords providing an affordable home have access to the same pot of money as a housing association."