The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has criticised the London Trading Standards (LTS) for what it says is an admission of failure in enforcement after the organisation issued a warning for consumers to beware of rogue letting agents ripping people off.
The LTS last week released figures showing that 46% of 1,922 agents in London inspected over a 15 months period were breaking the law and £1.2m of fines had been issued.
In addition to the fines, London boroughs instigated 14 criminal prosecutions for a range of offences including breaches of unfair trading rules.
The enforcement survey by London Trading Standards revealed that there were more than 6,000 letting agents operating across the capital and over 1,000 complaints about them.
David Smith, policy director of the RLA, commented: “Whilst it is good to see some increase in enforcement it is still patchy with different levels of action from one council to another.
“Local authorities must have the funds they need to properly enforce the wide range of powers they already have to tackle sub-standard housing and criminals operating in the sector.
“The government should provide a multi-year funding packaging to councils specifically to improve enforcement action.”
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