Earlier in October Newham Council released the results of a cutting edge scheme they had launched to help improve the standards achieved by lettings agents in the Borough. Over a two year period the local authority did an audit of each agent. This took into account their history, the fees they charge, and issues such as failing to refund deposits at the end of a tenancy. The end result is a rating system that shows which letting agents are safe to use and those to be wary of.
The rating system is designed as a response to the rising number of people who are living in private rented accommodation. By 2026 it is estimated that 60% of London’s residents will live in one of these properties. As a result there are concerns about how many people would find themselves in unsafe or substandard homes. With the ratings tenants can learn more about the agents they let with and take steps to protect their interests.
The new system will also benefit landlords in the area. It can be difficult for them to determine who they should trust to handle the letting and management of their assets. It is easier to make that decision by looking at the ratings and information.
As per the new system all lettings agents are given a star rating from zero to five. The best landlords are fully compliant with legislation, achieve very high standards, and don’t charge tenants fees. At the opposite end of the scale, agents with a zero rating have received criminal convictions within the past five years.
In total 159 agents have currently been audited. You can view the results on the Newham Council website. Remember to check back regularly to see if agents improve their standards.
If the scheme is successful it could be rolled out in other Boroughs all across London in the future. This would help to protect even more people in the rental sector.
At Finefair we work to ensure we are consistently placed as one of the best for guaranteed rent Newham has to offer. Our services are professional and we strive to achieve the highest possible standards we can. Investors who would like to find out more can contact us to do so.