Tenant mistreatment campaign launched

A campaign has been launched to highlight the mistreatment of tenants by letting agents.

The #RentRage campaign has been launched by consumer watchdog Which? in a bid to share horror stories of mistreatment of tenants by agents, and shine a light on the worst offenders.

Kickstarting the campaign, Which? undertook a mystery shop of agents across the UK, via property viewings, asking a variety of questions designed to assess how clued up the industry is on basic letting health and safety.

The viewings took place in Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Manchester, with 30 agents quizzed. The mystery shoppers assessed whether they were provided with adequate information upfront without having to probe, and if agents were able to answer simple questions on common legal issues, such as details of the property’s boiler, annual servicing requirements, carbon monoxide alarms and location of the smoke alarms.

Further issues were raised with maintenance, with 20% of agents failing to commit to fixing issues with damp, and researchers feeling that the issues were just ‘brushed off’.

There are clearly real issues with letting agents showing prospective tenants properties that aren’t up to scratch. It’s unacceptable that all too often agents can’t answer basic questions about important issues like boiler safety and carbon monoxide alarms.Tenants need to be given clear and accurate information before moving in to a new place and agents must do more to deliver an acceptable level of service.

Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services for Which?

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