Complaints about letting agents
Request for information: 2013100079
1. The number of recorded complaints Shropshire Council’s Trading Standards team received about letting agents charging prospective clients deposits/holding fees, but not letting them move in, and then refusing to pay their money back.
2. How many of these cases led to any action being taken, and what that action was? You requested this data over three timeframes:
a) 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011
b) 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012
c) 1 January 2013 to 30 September 2013
If it is impossible to respond to the entire request on cost grounds then please provide data for the most recent years only.
In response to the FOI request, we can confirm that we do not have any recorded complaints about letting agents charging prospective clients deposits/holding fees, but not letting them move in, and then refusing to pay their money back for any of the time periods requested.
These types of complaints are usually dealt with by approved redress schemes, such as National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS). The law requires estate agents who have domestic customers to join these schemes, which offer their own in-house complaints procedure. As well as redress schemes, there are two ombudsman schemes operating in the
private rented sector:
- Ombudsman Services: Property
- The Property Ombudsman Scheme
- Citizens Advice also offers assistance with tenant-landlord disputes and, as we understand, has been receiving evidence about withheld rental deposits for many years.
Following their campaign, legislation on Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) was implemented on 6th April 2007.