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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Pressure group claims 21 agents breaking law over display of fees

An organisation that describes itself as “an independent group of private renters” says it has identified 21 letting agents out of 56 in one London borough which do not publish information about their fees online – in breach of new legislation. 

The survey - conducted about a month ago by the group called Waltham Forest Renters - claims that new tenants in the borough can expect to pay an average of £484 in letting agents’ fees. 

In addition to the claim about agents failing to list their fees online, the group says the range of fees for new tenants varies markedly from £792 to around £150. 

Letting Agent Today has tried to establish whether the group has updated its findings, without success. The local council in Waltham Forest says it does not know whether the findings of the group have been passed on to trading standards.

However, the claim regarding the 21 agents ‘failing to display’ has now been taken up by consumer body Which? and appears on its website in a blog written by the Which? ‘consumer rights producer’ Adam French - who says he lives in Waltham Forest. 

Since May 27 all information about fees, client money protection and which redress scheme an agent has joined should be prominently displayed in every office and on the website, under rules set out in the Consumer Rights Act 2015. 

All fees, charges or penalties which are payable to an agent by a landlord or tenant in relation to an Assured or Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be displayed. However, agents will not be required to publicise the rent payable to a landlord; a tenancy deposit; and any fees, charges or penalities which a letting agent receives from a landlord under a tenancy from another person.

  • Rob  Davies

    Tut tut. Why do people think they can breach legislation and get away with it?

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    There are a number of agents in the Salisbury area that do not show any fees either, although it is now law there appears to be no one to regulate especially as tenant fees have had to be shown for some time now.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Need need to 'campaign' - simply refer the matter to Trading Standards. Agents that comply with the regulations are equally on board with this groups concerns

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    Hi Letting Agent Today. Thanks for publishing our work! We appreciate it. Sorry you were 'without success' when you tried to contact us. Did you try using any of the ways we describe openly on our website? There's an email address and a Twitter account, and we put phone numbers on all the press releases we sent out about the story. We didn't receive any communication from you, which is strange. Don't worry, your concerns about the facts changing between us finishing the research and publishing it are unfounded: we checked everything several times the day before sending it to the local paper, and we met three people from Waltham Forest council to share our findings with them two days before we published them. So I think we can say with a good degree of certainty that trading standards have been notified (that is, unless giving them a paper copy, an electronic copy and saying it to their face all failed somehow). And just to clear up your confusion, the reason we call ourselves 'an independent group of private renters,' is because that's what we are. It must seem hard to believe that private renters would want to start fighting back against the treatment we receive from landlords and letting agents - I mean, renting in 2015 is so fair and agreeable, and agents and landlords are such nice people who act so admirably, how could anyone possibly have cause to complain? Do get in touch if you're still baffled. Thanks, Rosie from Waltham Forest Renters

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