Brent and Harrow Trading Standards have carried out checks on agent’s websites to ensure that they are complying with the Tenant Fees Act and other relevant legislation applicable in the Private rented sector.
Having investigated 67 letting agent’s websites in both Brent and Harrow, Trading Standards officers have found that just 14 appear to be compliant with the law. Both boroughs are also keen to crack down on agents who have failed to register with approved money protection schemes or to register in a ‘redress scheme’ pursuant to the provisions of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 respectively.
We understand that some 293 letters have been sent by Trading Standards officers to agents across both boroughs warning them to ensure they are compliant with the law. However, the announcement fails to make clear whether these letters are targeted at those who are breaking the law or are just a general statement of concern. Agents who have complied with their legal obligations may feel put out if they have received such a letter.
At the time of writing we understand that of the 49 agents investigated, Brent and Harrow Trading Standards have issued 9 businesses with financial penalties and 6 with written warnings. The investigations are however continuing and agents in these boroughs (and all agents) should take action sooner rather than later to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
Those agents that fear they could be failing in their legal obligations should take legal advice.
The contents of this blog post is not legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only. If legal advice is needed readers should contact a solicitor. No responsibility for any information contained within this post is accepted and PainSmith solicitors accepts no liability in respect of the contents or for action taken based on this post.
Published 8 October 2019