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Councillor claims agents using virtual viewings show ‘better’ properties

A Labour councillor in Yorkshire claims letting agents are not showing the actual properties available to rent when they use virtual walk-through videos.

Cathy Scott, quoted on the Examiner website, claims: “They are not the actual properties that they’re [renters] getting. I had one yesterday that was ready to move in. [The renters] were signing up and when they arrived it was full of damp. It had a leak in its roof and smashed windows.

“The reason why these policies are so important is that we have got to crack down on these unscrupulous people that are renting properties. It’s about protecting the general public.”


The rules referred to by Scott were those in a report to the council discussing enhanced enforcement powers for Kirklees council.

That means private landlords who allow their properties to be overcrowded or who fail to comply with improvement notices could faces fines up to £30,000, with fines up to £5,000 relating to those without appropriate smoke alarms of energy efficiency levels.

The report claims that these policies are “intended to prevent the small number of rogue or criminal landlords, property managers or letting agents from profiting from renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation."

  • Kristjan Byfield

    As always, a single example is then cited as commonplace. TBH I've been amazed we've not heard more of this during covid and the broad adoption of VTs. That said if the tenants/buyers aren't seeing in person and the property does not match what they saw then this would surely fall under the distance selling regulations permitting 14 days to forfeit with no penalty. The example given is also well regulated- and the council could easily step in and take relevant actions handing out a myriad of fines to the offending agent/landlord- further regulatory powers are not needed just utilise what you have. Most councils are making millions from their licensing schemes- reinvest this in to effective, pro-active regulatory enforcement- and in the odd case of a severe breach come down hard on all guilty parties.


    I stopped reading after Labour Councillor.


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