England: LTS warning to tenants is an admission of enforcement failure, says RLA
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has said a warning given to private sector tenants by London Trading Standards (LTS) is an admission of failure in enforcement in London.
This condemnation comes after LTS released figures showing that 46% of 1,922 agents in the UK capital inspected over a 15-month were found to be breaking the law, and £1.2 million of fines had been issued.
The warning from LTS said private sector tenants must “understand your rights or risk being ripped off by rogue letting agents”.
The RLA has frequently argued that low levels of enforcement against criminal landlords and letting agents by local authorities are a result of a lack of funding to enforce the powers available to them.
The RLA’s own Freedom of Information analysis found that in 2017/18 over half of the councils said they had no enforcement policy in place.
David Smith, policy director at the Residential Landlords Association, said: “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.”