Landlords urged to find ‘safe’ letting agent

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Landlords have been encouraged to seek out letting agents that offer a money protection scheme when they are looking to rent a property.

A number of firms have signed up to the SAFEagent initiative and have highlighted the dangers landlords and tenants expose themselves to if they use an agent outside a protection scheme.

Under the initiative, tenants and landlords alike are protected against a letting agent entering financial difficulties.

Carole Charge, a director of one of the UK’s largest letting agents, Leaders, said it is important for property owners to use a trusted letting agent with experience as well as protection against money issues.

Despite pleas from the Property Ombudsman, ARLA and other industry groups, housing minister Grant Shapps recently confirmed that the government has no plans to regulate letting agents.

“Getting it wrong can have dire consequences for landlords, including huge legal expenses, loss of rent, financial penalties and even custodial sentences for not complying with legislation,” Ms Charge added.

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18th May 2012