Some letting agents ‘pulling a fast one’ and still charging fees to tenants despite the ban

Some agents are still charging fees to tenants despite the ban which came into force on June 1. Shelter has accused them of ‘pulling a fast one’.

A total of 225 complaints have been lodged, of which 110 have gone to The Property Ombudsman Scheme while the Property Redress Scheme has had 115, according to The Times.

Dan Wilson Craw of Generation Rent said that some letting agents have continued to charge fees, particularly for tenants who renewed their contracts after June.

He told The Times: “It’s hard to know how much of this is out of ignorance and how much is attempting to exploit tenants who might not know their rights.”

The National Landlords Association said: “We received high levels of calls to our advice line when the ban was introduced, reflecting the Government’s quick implementation — official guidance only two months before the ban.

“It’s vital that in future the Government allows time for landlords, agents and tenants to understand new laws.”

David Cox, CEO of ARLA Propertymark, said: “The tenant fees ban has had a significant impact, and we are already seeing agents selling up and leaving the sector.

“It was complex legislation that doesn’t fully come into effect until 2020, and therefore it’s unsurprising there is confusion, which is producing complaints.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The majority of agents and landlords have stopped charging fees, so it’s disappointing that a small number seem to be trying to pull a fast one.

“The law is clear and they were given plenty of time to prepare. Tenants who are asked to pay an illegal fee should feel confident that the law is on their side.”

 

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6 Comments

  1. DASH94

    If it’s unclear how much of this is down to ignorance (which I’m not excusing at all), Shelter’s tone with the ‘Pulling a fast one’ comment is inflammatory and perpetuates the whole Robber Baron myth around agents and landlords.

    Any agent that has received a complaint would pretty soon check the facts, realise their mistake and issue a refund surely – so these complaints that have gone as far as the ombudsman must not be straightforward fee charging.   Given that the TFB is open to some ‘interpretation’ in certain instances doesn’t help, but their whole tone is an aggravation and designed to caused trouble.

    JMHO

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  2. Will2

    Shelter regularly makes all sorts of adverse claims about Landlords and Agents – Pulling a Fast one as polly as says.
    Indeed, as I understand it, Shelter do not provide any accommodation so are they not “pulling a fast one” with their advertising claiming and inferring they are housing the homeless?  Does anyone know how many people Shelter actually directly house?

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    1. PeeBee

      “Does anyone know how many people Shelter actually directly house?”

      In approximate numbers, Will2… none.  “Approximate” being to the nearest single person.

      Shelter aren’t there to house people.  They say that their raison d’être is to campaign against homelessness, and to provide advice to the homeless or people in poor housing.

      Oh – and remembering a previous article here on EYE, they make a good job of losing money… selling stuff they get given for nowt.

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  3. Property Poke In The Eye

    I know agents taking cash in hand.   No paper trail to report the agent.

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  4. HIT MAN

    The agents who you know are s5ill charging tenants and taking cash need reporting. CMP, AML HMRC and TS. It’s because of them that get all agents a bad name. Do It!

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  5. HIT MAN

    I wonder why councils and associations can still charge tenant fees and high ones.

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