Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development, writes about how Islington Council is leading the fight against rogue letting agents in London.
New research into the enforcement action against rogue letting agents by councils across London shows some very interesting results. The research looks into enforcement measures carried out since the new rules on displaying letting fees and membership of deposit and redress schemes, were introduced in May 2015.
Islington Council issued total fines of £42,000 to letting agents that had breached the new requirements, amounting to two thirds of the total fines issued by councils in London.
We are very proud of this record and want our residents to know that our work in this area continues, especially in relation to “ghost-listing.”
Recently the council prosecuted an estate agent for falsely listing a flat as sold. They were issued with a £1250 fine plus £925 in costs. Another estate agent based in the borough, was prosecuted following a report from a concerned resident that their home was listed for rent on the Zoopla property website, even though the property was not actually available. They received a £4000 fine and £2500 in costs.
We are setting an example in Islington by taking a zero tolerance approach. London is facing a housing crisis. More and more people are struggling to find decent places to live at an affordable rent, and letting agents should be helping us to tackle the problem, not making it worse.
Tackling these issues is a top priority for our borough and I am proud to say that Islington is leading the fight against rogue letting agents.
We will be campaigning for the Mayor of London to introduce his promised databases of rogue landlords and letting agents as soon as possible. These measures can’t come quickly enough.
Pictured – Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development