Clampdown on letting agents backed by local councils

25 February 2021 | Renting

Clampdown on letting agents backed by local councils

A huge trading standards operation clamping down on lettings agents who fail to abide by Client Money Protection rules has been backed by local councils. 

Since April 2019 letting agents have been required by law to belong to an approved CMP scheme to ensure that tenant and/or landlord money is protected should the business fail. 

Now the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agents Team says “hundreds of London letting agents have already been identified where there is evidence of a breach of the law.” 

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Almost 100 of these have already been served with a formal ‘Notice of Intent’ by their local council, warning of an intention to impose a financial penalty and many more will receive similar notices over the coming weeks. 

Two local authority bodies have now come out in support of the crackdown.

The London Assembly’s Tom Copley – deputy mayor for housing and residential development in the capital – says: “With nearly three million Londoners renting their home, it is vital that both tenants and landlords have absolute faith in the letting agents who are handling their money.

“Trading standards officers are London’s first line of defence against unlawful letting agent activity, which puts both renters and landlords at risk. The Mayor and I will continue to support their vital work and lobby the government to ensure they have the powers and resources they need to tackle rogue agents.”

And the London Councils body – an umbrella organisation for the individual borough councils – also backs the clampdown.

Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ executive member for housing and planning, says: “We won’t put up with rogue letting agents making life miserable for their tenant and landlord clients. Boroughs’ trading standards teams are cracking down on rogue agents across the capital and enforcing the rules for keeping tenants’ and landlords’ money safe. 

“This pan-London project and the hefty fines being issued should make clear to rogue letting agents that bad practice is unacceptable.”

You can see more details of the crackdown here.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.