A tenants’ campaign group is planning a series of protests this coming weekend outside offices of lettings agencies which allegedly do not display their fees as required by law.
Brighton Tenants Resistance says the protests will begin at 1pm on Saturday outside Leaders agency in the town - although a Leaders spokeswoman insists the agency complies with the law and does indeed display its fees appropriately.
A report on the Brighton & Hove News website says the tenants’ campaign group met for the first time earlier this month with tenants complaining of rental properties in poor condition, their fear of eviction, rising agents’ fees and a lack of regulation.
The website quotes Brighton Tenants Resistance spokeman Matt Bolton as saying: “I feel really good about the direction the meeting went in and I was surprised by how many people were willing to take action. This is an issue that is important to many people and I’m happy about the plan of action.”
Martina Packham, branch manager for Leaders, is quoted as saying: “Leaders does not take houses that are not up to standard. We have a duty of care to our tenants, particularly since most of them have families.” She also said her agency’s fees were calculated by independent companies and displayed as appropriate.
Regarding the proposed protest she is quoted as saying: “It’s happened before and it doesn’t really bother me. Obviously, I would prefer they didn’t protest in front of our building but publicity is publicity.”
Yesterday Letting Agent Today reported a survey in the St Albans and Harpenden areas of Hertfordshire - conducted by someone working in the industry - which revealed that around 70 per cent of letting agents in the area did not display their fees online, as they are legally obliged to.