Seventeen letting agents fined by one council in £150,000 transparency crackdown

A letting agent that is now in liquidation and two branches of Foxtons have been named among 17 letting agent offices fined by one authority for failing to comply with legislation.

Tower Hamlets, in London, investigated 401 letting agents and landlords between July 2016 and the end of this May to check compliance with regulations such as fees transparency and displaying how a deposit will be protected.

The council described it as a crackdown on hidden fees.

Tower Hamlets didn’t go into detail for each case but revealed that a total of 27 letting agents, landlords and managing agents have been fined a combined £150,000.

Fines issued ranged from £1,000 to £10,000.

Two Foxtons branches – one in Wapping High Street and one in Canary Wharf – received fines.

Those who have been fined are required to immediately make adjustments to meet legislation requirements. The council says it will carry out further checks shortly to ensure this has been implemented.

Another agent on the list, Citiside Properties – which received negative press coverage earlier this year over the accuracy of its listings – voluntarily wound up the company in April, appointing Edge Recovery as a liquidator.

Citiside was previously a member of The Property Ombudsman but no longer shows up on the membership database.

EYE has tried to contact Citiside Properties on several occasions but has not received a reply.

A TPO spokesman said: “Citiside Properties Ltd ceased to be members in April 2018 as the company ceased trading.”

A spokesman for Tower Hamlets said the law only lets councils chase companies rather than individuals for payment, so if an agency is in liquidation the money has to be written off.

John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We are committed to ensuring people wanting to live in our borough are not exploited by rogue letting agents or landlords. We will not tolerate individuals or organisations actively trying to mislead our residents.

“The majority of letting and managing agents in Tower Hamlets successfully help people to settle within our diverse and growing borough. It’s disappointing that a small number are acting dishonestly and misleading people looking for a new home.”

Cllr Sirajul Islam, deputy mayor for housing, said: “We are protecting our residents by ensuring they have all of the information needed prior to renting their property. Transparency from letting agents, managing agents and landlords is imperative to ensure the process is fair for everyone involved.”

The full list of letting agents and managing agents fined is below:

(Some letting agents appear twice if they have been fined for different matters but there are 17 standalone branches in the list)

Name Address Address Type of business
Avas Residential Flat 6, Express Wharf 3 Hutchings Street Lettings
London Corporate Apartments 93-101 Greenfield Road Managing agent
Flatsgo 1 College Yard Lettings
Flatsgo 1 College Yard Lettings
London City Home Estate Agency Ltd 409 Roman Road Lettings
Flatsgo Residential Ltd Unit 11 58 Marsh Wall Lettings
Flatsgo Residential Ltd Unit 11 58 Marsh Wall Lettings
Quick Rent Properties t/a Quick Property Group Suite 11, Ensign House Admirals Way Lettings
Privilege Property Managers Ltd 5 Indescon Square Managing agent
London Corporate Apartments 93-101 Greenfield Road Managing agent
G Crawford Management Services Limited 453b Westferry Road Managing agent
Calingford Limited t/a X-Press Link Ground 172 Commercial Road Lettings
Sterling De Vere 120 Chrisp Street Lettings
X-Press Link Property 124-126 Stepney Way Lettings
Keystone Properties Keystones 146 Roman Road Lettings
A.R.S. Properties 1 Brady Street Lettings
Ridlee & Stroud 17 Fordham Street Lettings
Prestige Lettings Ltd 11 Greenwich Quay Lettings
Field and May 10-16 Tiller Road Lettings
S 3A Management Ltd Flat 2 63 Commercial Street Managing agent
Foxtons Canary Wharf Ground Floor Level, Little Unicorn 20 Canada Square Lettings
Foxtons Limited 75 Wapping High Street Lettings
Citiside Properties 222 Bow Common Lane Lettings
London City Home Estate Agency Ltd 409 Roman Road Lettings
Kenneth Lloyds (E1) Ltd 91 Burdett Road Lettings

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3 Comments

  1. Property Poke In The Eye

    I can see Foxtons have displayed the fees on their website, so it must be the office premises.

    401 investigations and only 17 fines, that seems productive.  Tower Hamlets missed a trick for raising funds as that’s what this is all about not transparency.

    If councils are trying to raise funds, they should look into flyboarding and boards that stay up more than 14 days after the transaction has completed.  That will put the dodgy operators back in check.

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    1. Wilkin79

      That is why the government thinks they should ban fees because of stupid and reckless agents and ruin it for the good letting agents

       

       

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  2. AgencyInsider

    Serves them right.

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