In a resounding call to action, private renters across London are being urged to shine a spotlight on unscrupulous landlords and letting agents who have unlawfully charged them fees.
The London Trading Standards (LTS) has launched a groundbreaking project in collaboration with the Mayor of London's Private Rented Sector (PRS) team. This initiative is designed to empower the city's 2.7 million private renters by helping them understand and assert their rights under the Tenant Fees Act, a pivotal legislation enacted in 2019.
Unveiling the Tenant Fees Act
The Tenant Fees Act represents a pivotal turning point for renters in London, rendering any charges beyond rent, deposit, holding deposit, and default fees illegal. This means that renters can no longer be subjected to additional financial burdens in the form of administration fees, credit check fees, or charges for property viewings.
Under this act, landlords are restricted from demanding a deposit exceeding five weeks' rent, while holding deposits are capped at one week's rent. These measures have been put in place to protect the interests of renters and ensure a fair and transparent rental market.
Reporting Rogue Landlords
The linchpin of this initiative is the "Report a Rogue Landlord or Agent" tool, which is readily accessible on the Mayor of London's official website. Renters who have fallen victim to unlawful fees can use this tool to promptly notify their local Trading Standards team.
These authorities are then empowered to take enforcement actions against offending parties, compelling them to reimburse the unjustly acquired fees.
An expert emphasised that the rising cost-of-living crisis, coupled with skyrocketing rents across London, presents a substantial threat to the well-being of numerous individuals who are dealing with strained incomes.
Nevertheless, the introduction of our project in collaboration with the London Mayor's team is designed to provide crucial support to private renters in their time of need.
United Against Rogue Landlords
Tom Copley highlighted the Mayor's commitment to safeguarding the rights of the city's renters and creating a more equitable, just, and secure living environment for all residents.
This united effort, forging a partnership between London Trading Services and the Mayor's 'Report a Rogue' tool, will streamline the process for London's 2.7 million renters to expose rogue landlords and letting agents. This, in turn, could result in the restitution of unlawfully obtained tenancy fees.
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development
Since the inception of the Rogue Landlord Checker and Report a Rogue tool in 2017, it has been utilised over 6,000 times, affording thousands of Londoners the peace of mind to rent in our great city.
In conclusion, this new initiative is a powerful testament to London's determination to ensure that its renters are treated fairly and ethically. Providing the means to report rogue landlords and agents, it is a significant step towards fostering a London where every resident can thrive in the safety and security of their rented homes.
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