Lettings industry regulation overdue

Robyn Hall

March 18, 2013

If the House of Commons agrees to an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which was voted through in the House of Lords earlier this month then buy-to-let landlords could look forward to greater protection from rogue letting agents.

If passed by the Commons the change in law would mean that letting agents would be compelled to sign up to a redress scheme for landlords and tenants who felt they had been cheated.

Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner at Goldsmith Williams, said: “Amateur landlords particularly often put their trust in letting agents to manage their property for them. We’ve recently acted for one such landlord who contracted a letting agent to source tenants for their property portfolio and collect the rental payments.

“The letting agent disappeared with a number of payments leaving not only the landlord out of pocket but also unhappy tenants. And to recover the lost rents we had to take out a judgement against the letting agent which of course took some time.”

Goldsmith said the firm had also been instructed to act in a case whereby the lettings agent had failed to act when a tenant had complained about the state of the property.

When these complaints were not addressed the tenant fell out with the lettings agent leaving the landlord to pick up the pieces in their relationship with the tenant whilst taking legal action.

He added: “These are just two examples showing that regulation of the lettings industry is long overdue which is why we’re adding our voice to those clamouring for this change to the law.”

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