Teams of trading standards officers mobilised across London in a day of action aimed at bringing rogue letting agents to book.
In the past three months, letting agents breaking the law have been fined around £370,000 in the capital.
The day of action against property professionals is part of a campaign week for trading standards officers highlighting various sectors of their work.
They want to uncover letting agents who flouting rules, such as:
- Failing to display fees to tenants and landlords
- Not joining a redress scheme
- Advising if they belong to a client money protection scheme both online and at their offices
Letting agents failing to keep to the rules face a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence they commit.
Martin Harland, who chairs the London Trading Standards Letting Agents Working Group, said:
“We won’t allow letting agents flouting the law to get away with it. It’s simply not fair to the consumer or the substantial part of the letting industry who go out of their way to do things right. If you want to be a letting agent the message is clear; you must comply with the law.
“London Trading Standards wants to protect London residents and the businesses that trade fairly here. If you know an agent who isn’t publicising their fees or who isn’t complying with the law, let us know about it.”
Harland explained flyboarding was a problem in many neighbourhoods, which is when an agent generates business by leaving a sign up that misleads would-be tenants to believe the property is available.
In Enfield, North London, trading standards has issue 221 removal notices and 185 fixed penalty fines in 18 months for the offence.