Too many times recently properties have been seen being advertised illegally with landlords being put at huge risk of large fines. This begs the question; Is the agent aware of the risk they are exposing their landlord to or are they in the game for quick buck?
The illegal properties are not just from the smaller agencies or online only agencies, it’s the big corporates too and no matter the size of the agency this should not mean they ignore the legislation set out to protect landlords and tenants alike. The frustration is most landlords are reliant on their chosen agent keeping their property in good condition, compliant and producing income but it seems some agents focus has turned to the end stage of a let where the commission comes in rather than focusing on the front end, being compliant. Most recently a friend of mine moved home through a large corporate agency and I received a call within 30 minutes of her picking up the keys asking me to visit to dictate if this home was fulfilling her basic human rights, it wasn’t. Sockets hanging off the walls, water coming through the ceiling, no handle to the front door, ground floor windows stuck open… It is worth noting at this point she had two young children which the agency was aware of. Now whilst I was not my job to inform the landlord of these issues I am not fearful of bringing necessary bad news so I made that difficult phone call to which her response was “My agent told me the house was in great condition and that I had no reason to visit” and needless to say she was mortified as this was previously her residential home. The landlord visited the next day, the jobs are being attended too and the home is now being brought up to scratch but why should my involvement in this be necessary?
I pride myself on being very inquisitive and I always seek to absorb more information regarding both my industry and others which is why most of my morning is spent on reading the national news, local news, financial news and industry news. I share this knowledge with my clients, and I am the first person to make a phone call to say, “Changes to the industry are coming, let’s get ready now”. I would rather make that phone call than must deal with a complaint over a £4000 fine for not advising the landlord to upgrade their rental properties lights to bring the energy efficiency rating up to the minimum standard, for example.