The Property Ombudsman scheme and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute have joined forces to tackle lettings agents that are breaking the law by not displaying their fees.
The joint campaign will initially target agents operating in Swansea and Dorset, who will be required to provide TPO with photographic evidence to demonstrate they are complying with the law by displaying their fees in both the branch and on their company website.
Any agent that fails to submit evidence will be referred to Trading Standards for further investigation.
The campaign - originally announced at this month’s TPO’s conference - involves Trading Standards Officers with powers to impose fines of up to £5,000 on any letting agent that fails to display its fees.
More than 85 per cent of all UK letting agents are signed up with TPO and following the industry’s only CTSI-approved Lettings Code of Practice, which clearly states that agents must display their fees in accordance with the 2015 Consumer Rights Act.
The CTSI represents Trading Standards professionals across the UK, and runs the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, which has approved TPO’s Sales and Lettings Codes of Practice.
“Agents signed up with The Property Ombudsman scheme have shown that they are willing to commit to the highest levels of consumer protection by following the scheme’s CTSI-approved Code of Practice. We fully support TPO’s efforts to improve industry compliance and any agent that has failed to display their fees up until now must act. We are aware of Trading Standards Officers taking serious action against those that fail to comply" says Adrian Simpson, CTSI business education and consumer codes expert.