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Huge operation to crack down on letting agents across London under way today

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Agents throughout London are being placed on standby today for a major one-day crackdown by Trading Standards.

Officers from 15 Trading Standards offices in the capital will today be visiting letting and property management agents – and scouting for evidence of compliance, for example on the display of fees.

Failure to comply could result in fines of up to £5,000 per offence.

Today’s crackdown is part of London Trading Standards Week, which focuses on a different area of activity for each day – yesterday it was knives.

However, London Trading Standards have already been vigilant, fining letting agents a total of £370,000 in the last three months.

James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, said: “We very much welcome London Trading Standards’ crackdown on letting agents who break the law, and we believe Government must ensure this vital work is properly resourced in the future.”

Isobel Thomson, NALS CEO, said: “Trading Standards play a vital enforcement role in the lettings landscape, ensuring agents trade fairly and consumers are protected.

“We are delighted that London has taken a lead in increasing their activity and raising awareness so that rogue agents should not simply slip under the radar”.

Martin Harland, lead officer and chair for London Trading Standards Letting Agents Working Group and principal officer at Camden, said: “We won’t allow letting agents flouting the law to get away with it. It’s simply not fair to the consumer or the substantial part of the letting industry who go out of their way to do things right.

“If you want to be a letting agent, the message is clear: you must comply with the law.

“London Trading Standards wants to protect London residents and the businesses that trade fairly here.

“If you know an agent who isn’t publicising their fees or who isn’t complying with the law, let us know about it.”

A reporting hotline is on 03454 040506.

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