Safeagent has worked with Haringey Council’s Trading Standards team supporting a case which resulted in a letting agent being fined over £12,000.
Haringey-based Matthew Estates was ordered to pay £12,630 by Magistrates Court after being found guilty of five offences relating to false claims in respect of membership of professional trade associations.
During the trial, the court heard that following a visit by Haringey Trading Standards an email sent by the firm to the investigating officer contained false claims as to membership of The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) – now Safeagent – and another trade association.
According to Safeagent, further checks revealed breaches on the firm’s website, and officers seized physical signage from the premises which “falsely claimed NALS accreditation”.
In sentencing, the Magistrates Court said the defendants had gained a “considerable commercial advantage” of the Certified Standards promoted via NALS which gave a legitimacy the defendants did not have.
Isobel Thomson, safeagent CEO, said: “We welcome the proactivity of Haringey Trading Standards in bringing this case to court. Cases like this are crucial to root out firms who put consumers at risk by passing themselves off as professional agents. We hope that more Local Authorities follow Haringey’s lead.
“Safeagent works with Trading Standards teams across the country, highlighting criminal activity and supporting them in prosecutions. Through this partnership we help to ensure a better, safer private rented sector for all.”