Which?, the consumer organisation which this week revealed details of an undercover investigation of 30 viewings of properties marketed by lettings agencies, is now calling on the public to submit what they call “nightmare rental stories.”
The call came in the form of an email sent to supporters of the organisation.
It says: “Choosing somewhere to live is one of the most important decisions of your life. But we have found that renters are being let down by their letting agents.
“We sent undercover researchers on 30 property viewings across England and Scotland. They found a concerning lack of vital safety information on issues like gas safety, and poor conditions, with one in five homes plagued by damp. Some researchers reported being rushed into making a decision by agents, and not being able to check the specifics when viewing a property.
“This is unacceptable. Tenants need to be given clear and accurate information before moving into a new place.
“Your nightmare rental stories can help us investigate the problem and highlight where the sector is failing renters. Have you had an issue with renting in the past?”
Which? recently revealed it had sent undercover researchers on 30 property viewings across England and Scotland to assess the conditions of properties and also provided them with a list of questions to ask the letting agent, designed to uncover whether they were giving vital information and following health and safety rules.
Some 20 per cent of the properties visited had problems with damp. None of the agents showing the properties were able to commit to fixing the problem, with little knowledge about what would be done about it.
Eight out of 30 viewings were rated ‘poor’ for answers to questions on property maintenance and repairs.
On several occasions letting agents apparently brushed off questions about maintenance, with many stating that work would be carried out before the tenant moved in, or would need to be dealt with by the landlord.