London renters urged to report rogue landlords over illegal fees
London renters have been urged to use a new tool to report rogue landlords and letting agents who charge tenants illegal fees.
Around 2.9 million private renters in the capital have been warned by the London Mayor’s team be aware of their rights ahead of the reporting tool’s launch.
Using the ‘Report a Rogue Landlord or Agent’ tool, renters can inform Trading Standards teams across London about breaches of the 2019 Tenant Fees Act.
This move is designed to cut down on violations like extortionate deposits, incorrect administration fees or being charged to view a property ahead of renting it.
If a landlord charges more than five weeks’ rent for a deposit, private renters can use the tool to hold the property owner or letting agent to account and get their money back.
As the price of renting across the country sails past an average of £1300, tools like this and the Renters Reform Bill are designed to empower tenants, especially during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Providing private renters with protection
Nishi Patel, chair of London Trading Standards, said: “The cost-of-living crisis, coupled with the dramatic increase in new rents across London, is fuelling a threat to the welfare of so many people who are seeing their incomes squeezed.
“But the launch of our project with the London Mayor’s team should provide private renters with support in their time of need.”
The deputy Mayor for housing and residential development, Tom Copley, added: “This collaborative effort, uniting London Trading Services and the Mayor’s ‘Report a Rogue’ tool, will enable London’s 2.7 million renters to report rogue landlords and letting agents more easily and potentially have any illegally-obtained tenancy fees repaid.
“When the Mayor launched his flagship Rogue Landlord Checker and Report a Rogue tool in 2017, he made it clear that unscrupulous landlords and agents would have nowhere to hide. Since then this tool has been used over 6,000 times, helping thousands of Londoners to feel safe renting in our city. This new initiative builds on the Mayor’s promise to protect the capital’s renters and create a better, fairer and safer London for everyone.”