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Unlicensed letting agents threatening private rental sector

The Association of Residential Letting Agents has warned that unlicensed letting agents are placing both landlords and tenants at increased risk of financial loss.

Ian Potter, operations manager for ARLA says as Britain is on the verge of becoming a nation of renters, it is critical the private rented sector is treated with greater seriousness by the government and the first step in this approach should be enforcement of existing requirements to protect tenants with action being taken by local authorities to ensure a landlord provides a safe home.

Potter says: “Many agents offer no consumer protection by means of Client Money Protection or fail to offer consumer redress through an Ombudsman Scheme. Both elements, when combined with a professional training and qualification programme, will allow tenants to enter this market with confidence.

“The threat posed by unlicensed agents grows more pressing as the market expands, placing both landlords and tenants at increased risk of financial loss.”

He adds: “Until that time as the government steps in to regulate, our advice to anyone looking to rent a property would be to use an ARLA-licensed lettings agent to ensure they’re protected against unethical agents. It was only last week that an agent in the East Midlands was reported to have disappeared with client funds. This type of behaviour cannot and must not be tolerated.”

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  • a jamal 3rd June 2011 at 9:03 am

    Its all very well ARLA saying this but currently ARLA offers no redress. Look at the cowboy tasctics by the bigger but I agree not only Letting agents but Estate Agents need to be regulated the current self regulator and ARLA is just not enough.

  • M Mouse 2nd June 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Wow ARLA recommends tenants use ARLA-licensed lettings agents. What a shocker. Is this news.

  • M Mouse 2nd June 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Wow ARLA recommends tenants use ARLA-licensed lettings agents. What a shocker. Is this news.

  • John Halliday - Residential Landlords Association 2nd June 2011 at 10:18 am

    I am sure the headline for this article should say “Unlicensed letting agents threatening private rental sector ”