Which? response to OFT report on lettings market

Which? Executive director Richard Lloyd said:

“Our own investigation uncovered bad practice, high and unexpected fees and a lack of consumer protection that’s failing both tenants and landlords. So the OFT’s recommendations are a step in the right direction, but we want the Government and lettings agents to go further.

“Information on compulsory fees should be provided upfront, in adverts or at the first point of contact with an agent, so that people can shop around. And the Government must act quickly to require all agents to sign up to a complaints scheme so that tenants know where to turn to for redress when things go wrong. This should be done by amending the Enterprise Bill currently before Parliament.”

Notes to editors

Which? published its findings of an in depth study of the lettings market in November last year.

Estate agents are required to join a complaints scheme by the Consumers, Estate Agent and Redress Act 2007 but letting and managing agents are not.

An amendment to the Enterpriseand Regulatory Reform Bill which, if passed, would require all lettings agents to sign up to a redress scheme is expected to be debated in House of Lords in March.

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