Just ten percent of lettings agencies and managing agents who appeal trading standards fines for non-compliance with lettings legislation have their fines dismissed, it has been revealed.
The figures are published within new guidance published by leading lettings industry accreditation scheme Safeagent within the third edition of its Effective Enforcement in the Private Rented Sector toolkit for Trading Standards officers.
It shows that of the remaining appeals, 40% had their fines reduced but half were upheld. The fines range from £2,500 to £15,000.
As councils face mounting pressure to effectively police the private rented sector, the updated Safeagent toolkit gives them the wherewithal to enforce legislation robustly with a complete guide to regulating agents, in a step-by-step format.
Launched in 2016, the update also sets out the requirement for lettings and management agents to belong to a client money protection scheme as well as template warning letters to letting agents who are failing to comply with legal duties, advice on serving civil penalties and examples on how to highlight enforcement action to the local media.
Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive of safeagent (pictured), says: “We’re all too aware of the challenges Local Authorities face in carrying out their work in the PRS.
“That’s why we created the Effective Enforcement Toolkit in the first place to support their work in ensuring that all agents comply with the legislation.
“We would like to thank those Tradidng Standards officers from across the country who gave their time and expertise in developing this latest version to ensure their colleagues across England are fully equipped to enforce the important legislation that protects landlords and tenants.
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme, adds: “The Toolkit is an example of collaborative working that can only be to the benefit of all in the sector.”