A letting agent in east London has been fined £4,000 after apparently publishing the incorrect fees that it levies on tenants and landlords and failing to provide information about its redress and Client Money Protection membership.
Atco Estates in Dagenham was first advised by Barking and Dagenham council officers of its responsibilities in January 2017.
After a follow up check in May 2018, which found that the fees listed on the agent’s website were inaccurate, the officers served the agency with a penalty notice.
Atco Estates appealed the original notice stating it had displayed fees on its website and claiming it could not afford to pay the fine.
However, a hearing by the General Regulatory Council 1st tier Tribunal, found that the fees listed on the agent’s website were inaccurate.
The tribunal did not accept the letting agent’s argument that it could not afford payment and fined Atco Estates £4,000.
A local council spokesman says:“We want to protect our residents and this case shows that we won’t allow businesses who do not play by the rules to get away with it. We will continue to clamp down on rogue letting agents who abuse the system so we can better protect our residents. If you want to be a letting agent in Barking and Dagenham, the message is crystal clear, you must comply with the law.”