London Trading Standards (LTS) has reported that more than 46% of 1,922 agents inspected in the 15 months up to June 2019 by local council trading standards officers were non-compliant with either the Consumer Rights Act and/or the legislation on redress scheme membership.
The figures released as part of London Trading Standards Week also show that letting agents were fined over £1.2m for breaking the law; either for not displaying fees and charges or for not being members of a redress scheme.
As well as the fines, London boroughs instigated 14 criminal prosecutions for a range of offences including breaches of unfair trading rules. The enforcement survey by London Trading Standards shows that there were over 6,000 letting agents operating across the capital and over 1,000 complaints about them
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 £1.2m 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.”