A total of 17 letting agencies have signed up to a rental charter set up by a Labour MP.
Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, set up the charter in response to feedback from constituents and representatives from local letting agents.
“Many of my constituents complained to me about standards in the private rental sector. Issues ranged from unprotected deposits to having requests for essential repairs go unanswered. Representatives from local letting agents were also worried about their reputation being marred by a minority of disreputable agencies. I came up with the idea for this charter in response to both concerns” says Whitehead.
So far the idea has been backed by the local branches of Enfields Estate Agents, Field Palmer, Green City Lettings, Harcourts, Home Hub Southampton, Homelife Lettings, Let & Go, Lettings Direct, Martin & Co, Northwood, Poswall Lettings, Robertsons Property Solutions, Robinson Reade, Rodina Investments, Tenant Link, The Country House Company and The Home Agency.
The MP says the charter is designed to raise awareness of those agencies that adhere to good practice and who have committed to run a reputable and high quality service for both landlords.
The charter requires letting agents to produce a clear publication of fees and charges, have a dedicated complaints procedure and clear communication with landlords and tenants, deal with property repairs in a timely fashion and always be contactable and ensure properties are of a decent standard.
The charter is also supported by Citizen’s Advice Southampton, Southampton City Council, ARLA and Royston Smith, the Conservative MP in the neighbouring constituency.