Trading standards have revealed a London-wide crackdown on letting agents who do not comply with client money protection (CMP) regulations, along with plans to roll it out further afield.
It has revealed that over 100 agents in the capital have already been investigated for not belonging to an approved CMP scheme, a redress scheme and for not publishing their CMP certificate on their website or at their offices.
These agents have already been issued with formal ‘Notices of Intent’ by their local council, warning of a looming fine. Many more will receive similar notices over the coming weeks.
Depending on their levels of non-compliance and prior track record, the agents involved face fines of up to £30,000 each.
The councils involved must now give the agents involved 28 days to explain any mitigating circumstances before a fine is issued.
Since April 2019 letting agents have been required by law to belong to an approved CMP scheme to ensure that tenant and landlord deposits and rent are protected should a business fail.
The enforcement operation is being run by London Trading Standards, which is a partnership between London’s 33 borough and the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team.
It is being funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
James Munro, head of the NTSELAT (pictured) says: “Our officers are providing advice and guidance to support this landmark enforcement initiative, helping to safeguard billions of pounds of consumers’ money.
“The intelligence gathered from this campaign will be used to support local authority investigations across the country, which will help protect consumers, raise compliance across the industry and boost consumer confidence.”
A survey of agents published by NTSELAT two years ago found that 20% of agents in England were not registered for CMP.