The National Approved Lettings Scheme has called for the London Mayor’s new rogue agents’ database to be extended to include those agencies that do not display fees or do not belong to a mandatory redress scheme.
Yesterday Letting Agent Today reported on an initiative from Sadiq Khan to create a capital-wide database, published on the Mayor’s website, naming criminal landlords and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted for housing offences.
Khan says it will give Londoners greater confidence when renting, allowing them to check a prospective landlord or agent before moving into a property, and acting as a deterrent to the minority of landlords and agents who behave dishonestly.
Now NALS chief executive Isobel Thomson wants this to go further.
“NALS fully supports any measures that improve the private rental sector” she says.
“The criminal landlords and agents database will place a spotlight on the inconsistent approach to housing regulation across London. About 80 per cent of housing prosecutions are taken by just five boroughs, while others take no prosecutions. Councils must up their game to tackle the rogue element of the market” she adds.
But she wants the Greater London Assembly and Khan to go further and to consider adding agents who do not display fees or fail to belong to a redress scheme to the database in order to protect consumers.
"It’s vital too that the GLA develop a more consistent approach to property licensing schemes. Every scheme in London has different terms and conditions, criteria and geographical coverage with no consistency in application process or fees. This has to change” Thomson says.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents and the National Landlords Association backs the Mayor’s scheme, but the Residential Landlords Association has criticised the proposal for duplicating pledges made by the Theresa May government.