To help local authorities tackle rogue letting agents, NALS has published the latest version of its Effective Enforcement Toolkit.
Originally published in 2016, the Toolkit was created as a unique way to assist local authority enforcement officers in tackling lettings and management firms who fail to comply with the law, particularly around the requirement to display fees and membership of redress and CMP schemes. It provides councils with a guide to the legalities and requirements of regulating agents, in a step-by-step format designed to help protect tenants and landlords.
Aware of the challenges local authorities face in carrying out their work in the PRS, the toolkit has been fully updated and now references over 50 tribunal decisions from across England. By providing easy access to this wealth of information, it will help enforcement officers correctly interpret the legislation while providing a useful benchmark for assessing the appropriate level of penalties.
The Toolkit will be updated again in 2019 following the introduction of mandatory client money protection.
Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive of NALS, said “The response from local authorities who use the Toolkit has been enormously positive and we are pleased to support them to ensure those who flout the law do not go unpunished. With legislation in the private rented sector constantly evolving, it was important to keep the Toolkit up-to-date and relevant to the work of enforcement officers.”
Martin Harland, Chair of London Trading Standards’ Letting Agents Group, said: “The Toolkit is an invaluable resource. We’re grateful to NALS for really listening to what we needed and working with us to achieve an excellent resource for trading standards officers. Working together we can create level and fair conditions for the good, professional agents to thrive while stamping out the criminals.”
Alex Mckeown, The Chartered Trading Standards Institute Lead Officer for Lettings, added: “The updated Toolkit is extremely useful to enforcement officers by pulling together the different pieces of legislation that relate to the lettings industry. It breaks the legislation down into a step-by-step guide and encourages a more consistent approach to enforcement. It will serve as an invaluable aid to officers who are new to lettings enforcement and act as a ‘go to’ reference point for the more experienced.
“It has been good working with NALS in producing this comprehensive guidance and having their support with the work that we do in order to increase professionalism and compliance within the lettings industry.”
**Download the Effective Enforcement Toolkit here