Three Reasons Why Letting Agents Need Regulation
September 26, 2010
I went to the NALS (National Approved Letting Scheme) conference last week – I saw some interesting speakers and had many good conversations during the breaks.
NALS is the organisation that I guess is
the closest thing to regulation the lettings industry has. It is very involved in the tenancy deposit scheme which has the purpose of protecting tenants deposits. I am not aiming for this blog to labour on about regulation, but I thought I would set out some examples
I have heard recently of what some lettings agents get up to that give the industry a bad name – and therefore why action needs to be taken:
1. A letting agent had been renting out a landlords property, the tenancy ended without
the agent finding a new tenant.
As the apartment was empty the landlord thought they would take the opportunity to visit the apartment.
When they did this they found people staying in the flat, they called the agent who told the landlord they should not have enter the flat without giving the agent 24 hours notice! The call ended with the agent being dis-instructed.
2. A letting agent decided to vanish with deposits they were holding on behalf of the tenants and the last months rent they
were collecting on behalf of the landlord – Spain was the suggested destination for the agent.
3. A tenant agrees with the agent to pay £300 pw for a flat, 2 days before the tenant was due to move in the agent calls and says they have to pay £330 pw – no real reason
- the tenant has no choice but to accept as o
therwise they would be homeless.
There are so many more examples. I have great sympathy for tenants and landlords as it can be very confusing to who is a good and trustworthy agent to deal with. Recommendations are important as are those who win awards (and even just those who enter as it is very time consuming and costly to enter – it shows a committment). Do take your decision seriously, as a tenant you are committing thousands of pounds in rent and deposit, as a landlord you have a very valuable asset that needs to be looked after.
Incidents like those listed above should be avoided at all costs – select your agent carefully.