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Letting agent news: June’s biggest stories

Posted on 2015-06-26

As we work towards the end of another busy month in the residential lettings sector, it’s time to have a look at some of the biggest stories to affect the UK’s letting agents this June.

One of the stories to receive the most column inches centres on deposit protection legislation which came into force Under the Deregulation Act. From June 23, tenancy deposits taken before April 6 2007 now fall under deposit protection law.

Landlords must ensure that these long-term deposits are protected with one of the three government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes or face a hefty penalty.

All three deposit protection schemes have published reminders throughout the month and although the majority of agents and their landlords will have this in order, all have been advised to check their paperwork. To coincide with the new rules, we’ve put together a guide to provide landlords and agents with some further information.

Now it wouldn’t be a normal month without a news story about London sales and lettings agent Foxtons and June has stayed true to form.

The firm has been in hot water over after charging a landlord over £600 to change a light fitting in 2013.

Leigh Day Solicitors has served the agency with a letter of claim, which is sent prior to legal proceedings and says that thousands of landlords could be entitled to compensation from Foxtons. This is a very interesting story and one that we’re sure hundreds of letting agents will be keeping a close eye on as it develops.

Meanwhile, always a hot topic for debate, the battle against For Sale and To Let boards has re-emerged this month. A trial ban on letting agents’ boards in part of Reading has been declared a success and now could be made permanent.

The pilot scheme operated in part of East Reading and the University area between October 2014 and the end of March this year. And now local councillors have endorsed the pilot scheme in the area where there used to be as many as 180 To Let boards displayed at any one time.

The council will now discuss a new proposal next month to turn the temporary ban into a permanent one and says it will be inviting letting agents to sign up to an agreement.

In early June we also saw over 3,000 letting agents take place in the fourth annual SAFEagent Awareness Week.

The event is organised with the aim of increasing consumer awareness of the importance of choosing a letting agency which is part of a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme.

CMP provides compensation to landlords and/or tenants should their agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other funds.

SAFEagent Awareness Week was once again deemed a huge success and you can see what some agents got up to, courtesy of this roundup from Letting Agent Today.

And, to cap off the roundup with some good news, we found out this month that the majority of tenants are happy with their rental home, rent, agent and landlord!

A survey of 500 tenants carried out on behalf of Paragon Mortgages found that 82% of tenants said they consider the property they rent to be their home, while 81% said they are happy with their landlord and 70% said they perceive the rent they pay to be either good or very good value for money.

Well that’s it for this month. We now look forward to July which, among other things, will see another Budget and the latest update on the national rollout of immigration checks.

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