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Tenants Scammed - new guidelines for agents to give renters

Propertymark is telling member agents to be aware of potential risks and help educate tenants to lookout for common scams, especially with growing awareness that decarbonising homes is on the UK government's agenda.

An increase in the cost of domestic energy in England, Wales and Scotland has taken effect, adding pressure to household budgets. A higher price cap, set by regulator Ofgem, from now to April means gas and electricity costs will be five per cent higher than the last three months.

A household using a typical amount of gas and electricity will see their annual bill go up by £94.


Propertymark says that a number of grants have been launched by the UK Government to install energy efficiency measures, many of which are free of charge to eligible households.  

Whilst many of the schemes are genuine, there has been an increase in scams and rogue traders carrying out substandard installations and charging households for additional payments not agreed in writing. Many local councils have issued warnings to residents and now the agents’ body has issued its guidelines which it hopes will be passed to tenants. 

- Is the company reputable? Before buying anything, check out the company and their website. Read reviews, ask for references, verify the company’s details using external sources, and read any terms and conditions;

- Check certified schemes. When looking for a trader to use, check certified schemes that recommend traders, like TrustMark, the UK Government’s endorsed quality scheme;

- Get written quotes and a contract. Try to get quotes from at least three different contractors to ascertain if a fair price has been quoted. Always get a written contract before giving the go-ahead. If something goes wrong it can help to try and get what has been paid for, or at least get some money back;

- Pay with a secure method. Credit cards offer the most protection, followed by PayPal or debit cards. If paying for large home improvement works, try paying in stages, and avoid paying for costs up-front where possible; and

- Be suspicious. Scammers and rogue traders can be very smart. Take time to make a decision . If contacted out of the blue or the sale is pressured, then it is most likely a scam.


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