Newham letting agents face £5,000 fines for failure to join scheme

Penalty charge notices are being issued against letting agents who have failed to sign up to a redress scheme.

Newham Council is the first local authority in the country to take action against agents who have been legally required to subscribe to one of three government approved schemes since October 1.

Officers have issued six £5,000 penalty charge notices to agents that have been non-compliant to the tenant protection scheme so far.

A further 17 agents will receive a visit shortly.

Letting agents were sent a letter reminding them to sign up to the scheme in September.

This was followed up with a visit by trading standards offcers who re-issued the letter and reminded agents that they had 28 days to comply.

Letting agent redress schemes provide a free independent service to help resolve any disputes between letting agents and their customers.

Most Read

They require agents to follow a code of practice, have an in-house complaints procedure, cooperate with any investigation and agree to pay compensation promptly if the redress scheme awards it.

Newham Council’s mayoral advisor for housing, Andrew Baikie, said: “We are using all the powers at our disposal to drive up standards for tenants in the private rented sector to ensure that our residents have access to good quality homes.

“Those agents who have failed to sign up to a redress scheme are not operating within the law and we are taking action to protect our residents.”

There are 193 letting agents in Newham, of which 165 are already signed up to redress schemes.

Read more: Project to tackle exploitation of Newham tenants and landlords bearing fruit

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter