A new property agent task force will crack down on letting agents flouting the upcoming ban on charging tenants fees to rent their homes.
The new National Trading Standards scheme will monitor letting and estate agents to make sure they comply with new landlord and consumer protection laws.
The team will police letting agents in England, and estate agents across the UK by:
- Making sure estate and letting agents comply with the law
- Serving prohibition orders and warnings on offenders
- Approving and overseeing estate agent redress schemes for consumers
- Providing guidance and advice for the public, businesses and enforcement authorities on UK estate agents and letting agencies in England
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler said: “We are determined to make the private rented sector a fairer, more accessible market that works for all and I am delighted that local authorities will now be able to access the best advice and information from this new team.
“There is no place for unfair fees – now, with this new enforcement authority, we will be able to stamp them out.”
Letting agency monitoring will be carried out by Bristol City Council across England, while Powys County Council in Wales will manage UK estate agency regulation.
James Munro, head of the new National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team, said: “Bringing the two functions – lead enforcement authority for estate agency work and lead enforcement authority for lettings agency work – under one team will mean there is a single point of contact for enforcement work in this area.
“This single team approach will help us uphold consumers’ rights and enforce the law.”
The letting fees ban for tenants starts from June 1, 2019.