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Gas Safety Superheroes

19 September 2019

Propertymark advocates for only the highest standards in the property industry, and this week during Gas Safety Week, we want to highlight the impacts of not doing the proper checks on your properties. Read More...

Agencies expelled from TPO

19 September 2019

Shoreditch based estate agent Chase & Co UK Ltd, (trading as Chase & Co UK) and Isle of Dogs based estate agent, Property 24/7 have been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO). Read More...

Landlord hit with over £500k fine after illegally converting property

18 September 2019

A London landlord has been hit with fine of over £500,000 after illegally dividing his property into eight small flats. Read More...

Rogue agents fined over £1.2m

18 September 2019

Figures from the London Trading Standards (LTS) show rogue letting agents have been fined over £1.2m for breaking the law, either by not displaying fees and charges or for not being members of a redress scheme. Read More...

Spotting the signs of criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults

Friday 16 August 2019

The Home Office's County Lines campaign aims to help landlords and letting agents – and other frontline staff— to spot potential victims, and report concerns to either the police, anonymously to Crimestoppers, or safeguard in line with their organisation’s safeguarding policy.

County Lines is the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas, as well as market and coastal towns, by using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”.

Gangs use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money to these areas. Once caught up in County Lines, exploited individuals are at risk of extreme physical and/or sexual violence, gang recriminations and trafficking.

County Line drug gangs rent property where they operate. Guidance for letting agents and landlords can help you spot the signs of potential victims and report concerns.

Spot the signs:

  • Do visitors come at unusual times of the day or night?
  • Are there suspicious smells around the property?
  • Is a tenant getting more visitors?
  • Has a tenant stopped leaving their house?
  • Are curtains or blinds almost always shut?
  • Has anti-social behaviour increased?

A tenant might also:

  • Offer to pay rent for a long period (e.g. 6 months) upfront in cash
  • Appear affluent but want to rent an inexpensive property
  • Be unable to provide landlord or employment references
  • Prefer to pay rent in cash without good justification
  • Prevent you from inspecting your property when given reasonable notice
If you have concerns that a vulnerable tenant is being exploited, you should report it to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111, or to the police.

You can find more information and resources on the Home Office website including guidelines, posters, and social media images to use and share with local businesses.