'Urgent action' needed to protect tenants
Sunday 17 February 2013
Tenants urgently need better protection according to the Office of Fair Trading, after an analysis of more than 4,000 tenant and landlord complaints found that there was widespread malpractice.
Common gripes included landlords and their agents levying ad-hoc charges and fees , withholding deposits unfairly and generally poor service. As a result, the OFT recommended that government and industry bodies look at coming up with a national strategy to combat some of the abuses highlighted.
In particular, the OFT said it would like to see action to make contracts clearer, fees transparent and up front and a general redress system in case of disputes.
"Tenants and landlords are often dissatisfied with agents but we also believe the government, industry and enforcers working together can have a real impact and improve overall standards in the lettings market," said Cavendish Elithorn, OFT's senior director of goods and consumers.
However, the OFT stopped short of calling for new legislation to protect tenants, as urged by many charities in the sector including Shelter. On assuming office in 2010, the coalition killed-off plans to better legislate the rental market and letting agents as Labour had planned.
Life & Style blogs
Plus live in a folly tower and Towcester growth
Plus how much you need to earn to rent in London, and new homes figures
Plus where The Apprentices live, house price growth outside London, and househunter numbers
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron at war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£28000 - £31500 per annum + benefits: Randstad Education Newcastle: Permanent ...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...