Landlords need protection from rogue agents, says law firm
A legal firm has added its weight to calls for the regulation of letting agents – after a landlord client was left high and dry by an agent that went off with the rent money.
Goldsmith Williams, which has a business GW Let that advises private landlords, said that Parliament should compel all letting agents to sign up to an ombudsman scheme.
Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner at the firm, said: “Our experience in recent matters shows just how much landlords would benefit from regulation and such a redress scheme.
“Amateur landlords particularly often put their trust in letting agents to manage their property for them. We’ve recently acted for one such landlord who contracted a letting agent to source tenants for their property portfolio and collect the rental payments.
“The letting agent disappeared with a number of months of payments. The landlord was not only left out of pocket but also with disaffected tenants. And to recover the lost rents we had to take out a judgement against the letting agent – and, of course, this took some time.
“In another recent case our client was not local to their rental property and so contracted with a letting agent to manage the property on their behalf.
“Unbeknown to them the tenant had complained about the state of the property. When these complaints were not addressed the tenant fell out with the letting agent. Again our client, the landlord, was left picking up the pieces in their relationship with the tenant whilst taking legal action against the letting agent.
“These are just two examples – showing that regulation of the lettings industry is long overdue. That’s why we’re adding our voice to those clamouring for this change to the law.”