The regulation of letting agents

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    The regulation of letting agents

    "Ahimsa" is my middle name, but has the time come for letting agents to be kneed repeatedly in the groin until they repent?

    #2
    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
    "Ahimsa" is my middle name, but has the time come for letting agents to be kneed repeatedly in the groin until they repent?
    What about the lady agents... ?

    Or the LGBTG "community" ?
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

    Comment


      #3
      This may be pleasant reading for some... regulated agents up there of course...but a two-edged sword of course
      http://www.property118.com/index.php...kes-off/28784/

      Landlords are warned to check out that their letting agents protect their money as a new scheme helping tenants reclaim unfair fees threatens make some firms go bust.

      Housing charity Shelter Scotland is leading the campaign against rip-off letting agents – and has helped more than 100 tenants start claims for the repayment of thousands of pounds of illegal charges.

      On the first day of the campaign, 600 tenants contacted the charity, with 73 starting claims for repayment of £11,700.

      Shelter is warning landlords that paying refunds could put a financial strain on some letting agents who do not have the cash reserves to settle grievances with tenants.

      Letting agents outside a recognised money protection scheme like SafeAgent or ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) may close leaving landlords out of pocket.

      Shelter Scotland says misinterpretation of the law under section 82 of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984 of what should be classed as a premium and how to deal with agents who break the law is leaving thousands of people open to unfair treatment and financial exploitation.

      The charity gives examples of the charges which could be considered premiums:

      Credit checks – fees for carrying out credit checks
      Reference checks – fees for carrying out reference checks
      Inventory fees – charges for checking and preparing an inventory
      Renewal fees – any administration charge to renew an existing tenancy
      Holding fees – any non-refundable holding fees or similar payments for the grant of a tenancy
      Copies of the lease – charges for duplicate copies of a lease
      Transfer fees - a payment to formally transfer or assign a tenancy to someone else
      Overpriced furniture – sale of furniture to a tenant for an excessive price
      Charging a "premium" relating to a tenancy in Scotland is illegal..
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        It takes a simple stat Instrument

        In addition to rent landlords should provide and agents must obtain full and specific information on any additional outgoings and prepare them for publication before any contact in nay form with an applicant or any other party other than the landlord.

        Any other charges fees disbursements expenses which the which the landlord or the agent or any intermediary may seek payment for from the applicant must be fully itemised with all sets of particulars in whatever form and an itemised estimate given when an offer is made.

        Let's face it all it takes is an hour or so and a plain sheet of paper.

        Assuming letting agents can write. Can they Or maybe they can text it to each other.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment


          #5
          Letting Agents have to follow legislation, If i spend your rent - sue me - as you will win.
          What your discussing is compulsory membership to a for profit bureaucratic organisations.

          ------
          The compulsory membership of Letting Agents would mean an increase costs to both Tenants and Landlords.
          Any of the "regulators" that are proposed are mostly for profit organisations - owned and operated by the big estate agencies.

          Conservative policy is well known to de-regulate to increase innovation and entrepreneurship. Tie'ing up Letting Agents with bureaucracy and ticking boxes wont protect Landlords from "Rouge Agents" but just increase costs.

          In regards to SafeAgent "All agents regulated by ARLA/NFOPP, the Law Society, NALS and RICS maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where your money is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm".... I do this, we have a deposit account for rents and for portfolio landlords we have separate client account for each.
          Can I register as a SafeAgent? .. Nope. Not a member of ARLA as I don't have NFoPP qualification (£699) or excited to pay £185+ per year for bureaucracy. NFoPP by the way owned apparently by same people who own SafeAgent.
          Are these schemes protecting Landlords and Tenants or profiteering? ...

          Check out the SafeAgent scheme yourself, operated by "Approved Letting Scheme" in 2011 they were nearly dissolved. Net assets of -£55k. A name you can trust apparently.

          Do not be fooled that the compulsory membership for LA is to protect LL, it seems to be compulsory membership for LA is to shut down innovation, hinder the smaller guys and prevent new entrants.

          Under how many properties does a Landlord have to manage before he has to be "regulated".

          Comment


            #6
            Oh no! Not those 'Rouge Agents' again!

            We've had 'em here before. Thoroughly bad lot. And scary too, with their bright scarlet faces leeering at us through the window.

            On a serious note, the answer to LC's initial questions is Yes, in most cases. Not Wickerman or Phlash, though. They're good chaps.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
              What about the lady agents... ?

              Or the LGBTG "community" ?
              No discrimination!

              Comment


                #8
                The regulation of letting agents does not have to involve compulsory membership of an organisation or control by regulator. Estate agency is not controlled that way. Anyone can set up as an estate agent. All that is needed is a statute saying what letting agents cannot and must do, backed where appropriate by criminal and/or civil sanctions. Since they handle significant sums of other people's money some form of bonding should be compulsory. A code of conduct set out in a schedule to an act would be nice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                  The regulation of letting agents does not have to involve compulsory membership of an organisation or control by regulator. Estate agency is not controlled that way. Anyone can set up as an estate agent. All that is needed is a statute saying what letting agents cannot and must do, backed where appropriate by criminal and/or civil sanctions. Since they handle significant sums of other people's money some form of bonding should be compulsory. A code of conduct set out in a schedule to an act would be nice.
                  A lot of it is languishing in the Estate Agents Act 1979, largely not commenced or to be subject to regulation isn't it? its too late to be arsed to look. As suggested it can be warmed up by an SI or two no Primary legislation.

                  I walked out of the London GLA SC charge conference muttering "lot of Arse" when they said no need for regulation and suggestion the CIH extend their influence. Yes let Council Housing Officers take it all over that's gong to work....

                  Even those with lurid small mini shaped BMWs might then be considered by some to be paragons of virtue in comparison
                  Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                    No discrimination!
                    But wouldn't it be gender stereotyping to suggest a kick in the vegetables to someone in the TG community who asserts their rights to not be said to have vegetables, even though they probably have.

                    I was going to suggest discussion of effective penalising and some sort of pun but then perhaps Mod 2 might send me to bed to think about what I have said.

                    Oops. Oh, round objects.

                    (And no I dont know who Round is or to what he objects.)
                    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                      All that is needed is a statute saying what letting agents cannot and must do
                      I would support what you suggest but its not what I here calls for - for instance "The Property Ombudsman" in their 2011 Annual Report wanted compulsory membership (LLz Article).

                      Comment

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