weisheng3302: Letting Agents Get Away With Money For Nothing

Letting Agents Get Away With Money For Nothing

Dec 3 2015 at 02:14am

There are stories there of overcharging, failure to take up references, failure to collect or pass over rent, poor or non-existent paperwork, and failure to respond to requests from either landlords or tenants.

Landlords in London and the south east also complain that many agents expect to be paid when tenants renew their agency initiated tenancy agreements, even if they have had to do nothing to secure that renewal. Worse still, and what seems to annoy landlords even more, is that some letting aciq2005.ca/ agents have contracts that appear to give them rights to such payments even after they have been sacked.

Agents can provide valuable services to both landlords and tenants, in the former case finding and vetting tenants, advising on legal requirements, collecting rents and generally managing lets. But standards of service and the nature of contractual obligations vary considerable from firm to firm.

The problem is that there are coach outlet online canada no nationally enforceable standards for letting agents and few constraints on anybody setting up in business as an agent.

Of course many agents do belong to such regulated bodies as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or the Association of Residential Lettings Agents. Others coach outlet canada online belong to the Government-backed NALS scheme which gives accreditation to letting agents that agree to meet certain standards, have insurance cover and a complaints procedure offering independent redress.

Such firms are likely to operate to higher standards than those that do not belong to such bodies. Landlords and tenants are best advised to deal only with such agents.

This was recognised recently by the Government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme which has announced that as from 6 April 2009, it will only offer deposit protection services to lettings agents that are members of regulated bodies, including NALS - a move that could have an impact since it is now law that (with some exceptions) rental deposits taken from tenants are protected by landlord or agent participation in a Government approved deposit protection scheme - of which there are only three.

'The TDS decision highlights the importance placed on both accountability and financial security within private rentals', said NALS chairman Caroline Pickering.

'Lettings firms need to guarantee optimum levels of trust and support for both tenants and landlords. This recent development will surely come as a wakeup call to all firms who are not part of any regulatory body and cannot demonstrate to the consumer that they meet industry standards in the operation of their businesses'.

Now the National Landlords Association, a national body for private landlords, has called on landlords in London and the south east to shop around for letting agents that do not charge unfair, 'money for nothing' renewal fees.

Many landlords in London and the south east continue to be charged fees of around 11 per cent for renewing properties on a let only basis, it says. And over 70 per cent of landlords consider this renewal fee to be unfair and not a true reflection of the work actually undertaken.

'It is a regional anomaly - a problem unique to London and the south east', said the NLA. 'Most letting agents in other areas of the UK will not make any additional charges for a let only rental property'.

The association is advising landlords to avoid letting agents that charge this 'unjust' fee.

'If letting agents don't stop charging these "money for nothing" fees, landlords should avoid using their services. It is as simple as that' said NLA vice chairman John Socha.

'It is crucial landlords check the small print of all contracts before they sign on the dotted line'.

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