The council is tackling rogue letting and managing agents by issuing around £150,000 in fines.
After being one of the first boroughs to contribute to the Mayor of London’s rogue landlord checker, the council has been conducting checks on the 401 letting agents and landlords listed on their database. It has also been investigating those reported by members of the public.
It has found that some individuals and organisations are not complying with legislation, which is in place to protect renters.
The legislation outlines that websites must clearly state if there are any fees associated with renting a property. Other information that must be accessible includes whether an agent is registered with a Client Money Protection Scheme and if a renter’s deposit will be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Rules, such as these, try to ensure that people don’t lose their deposit or have expensive fees imposed on them unexpectedly.
As a result of these investigations, the council have fined 27 letting and managing agents spread across Tower Hamlets for failing to comply. The fines issued range between £1,000 and £10,000.
Those who have been fined are required to immediately make adjustments to meet legislation requirements. The council will carry out further checks shortly to ensure this has been implemented.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We are committed to ensuring people wanting to live in our borough are not exploited by rogue letting agents or landlords. We will not tolerate individuals or organisations actively trying to mislead our residents.
“The majority of letting and managing agents in Tower Hamlets successfully help people to settle within our diverse and growing borough. It’s disappointing that a small number are acting dishonestly and misleading people looking for a new home.”
Cllr Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor for Housing (Statutory Deputy Mayor), said: “We are protecting our residents by ensuring they have all of the information needed prior to renting their property. Transparency from letting agents, managing agents and landlords is imperative to ensure the process is fair for everyone involved.”
Posted on Monday 18th June 2018