Latest News

Market outlook is strong

14 August 2020

With the demand for rental property on the increase and the sales market experiencing a significant rise in mortgage applications lockdown hasn’t been a deterrent for buyers and renters determined to make a change. Read More...

Tenancy Deposit lessons from lockdown

14 August 2020

As restrictions are gradually easing and the housing market begins to see encouraging movement, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) takes a look back over recent months and reflects on the valuable lessons learnt that can help with the recovery moving forward. Read More...

The impact of COVID-19 on letting agents in Northern Ireland

13 August 2020

ARLA Propertymark responded to a consultation from the Department of Communities (Northern Ireland) looking at areas of concern impacting letting agents throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Read More...

Propertymark responds to Flood Insurance Review 2020

13 August 2020

An estimated seven million homes remain excluded from the Flood Re insurance obligation, including 1.1 million leasehold homes, and three million homes in urban areas. Propertymark has long held the view that the scheme should be extended to cover the leasehold and private rented sector. Read More...

Consultation open on replacing Liverpool’s Landlord Licensing Scheme

12 August 2020

Liverpool City Council is asking for views on their proposals for a new selective licensing scheme which would cover designated areas around the city equating to around 80 per cent of privately rented properties. Read More...

Tenant Saver Loans paid directly to agents and landlords in Wales

11 August 2020

Today, 11 August 2020, the Welsh Government announced the introduction of their new Tenant Saver Loan Scheme, which will be made available from the beginning of September to support those most affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Read More...

The beginning of the end for dodgy agents

Tuesday 06 August 2019

Popular comedian Joe Lycett’s exposure of a London letting agent’s questionable practices shows that consumer rights are more relevant than ever, and as we’re more than aware, terrible practice is out there, but could publicity on shows like this be the stepping stone needed in order to crack down on these agencies once and for all?

Most viewers might have thought Joe Lycett’s foray into consumer rights wouldn’t yield any tangible results; yet in his recent TV series, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, the comedian managed to not only inform viewers of the sometimes fraudulent tactics used by some letting agents, but he also managed to get some very real results.

The agency in question was accused of using several shady tactics to trick consumers; including:

  • Fake online reviews
  • Bait and Switch tactics
  • Pressure selling

Before the show they were previously prosecuted and fined for:

  • Renting an overcrowded property
  • Failing to publish fees
  • Engaging in misleading commercial practice

The segment went on to discuss the letting agents’ practice of using SpareRoom to advertise properties, sometimes in blatant disregard to the terms and conditions of the website; but, more importantly, the segment shone a light on what property professionals have known for a while: the industry still has elements of the Wild West, with cowboy agents getting away with ripping consumers off.

Only recently, the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme looked at another letting agent with questionable practices, including allegations of illegal evictions, viewing fees (under the guise of a holding deposit) and removing tenant’s belongings from the property without warning.

While a raft of legislation in recent years should be driving bad practice out, seedy practices used by a small, but significant, number of agents are still very much evident.

And what about the damage to reputable agents that choose to be regulated in the sector? For every property and tenant managed by less reliable agencies, it is essentially one less client for those agencies that work hard to treat tenants fairly and morally. There’s also the risk that agencies become tarred with the same brush.

It shouldn’t take a popular comedian to get justice for tenants that fall victim to dodgy letting agents, but with the public eye more widened to the realities of the property sector, consumers are hopefully more aware of their rights and take dodgy agents to task, and industry bodies like Propertymark can use this increased awareness to further lobby for a regulated sector, where professionals are rewarded and the rogues swiftly dealt with.

Glow for Myton

Property Professional

Propertymark members receive an exclusive, high-quality magazine packed full of up-to-date information and guidance as well as hearing from leading experts and professionals across the sector. Members can download a digital copy by logging into the online shop below.

Online shop