The UK’s safest landlords are apparently in the North East

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert January 9, 2015 11:04
  • Agent’s concerns about “revolving door redress schemes” remain as convicted companies appear to be part of letting agent redress schemes.

A new database listing the dodgiest landlords and letting agents in the UK contains no entries from the North East.

Landlords and letting agents convicted of serious safety breaches have been named publicly for the first time in the database, which uses Ministry of Justice data to map firms convicted of offenses including pigeon-infested properties, faulty fire alarms and leaking lavatories.

The resource shows that none of the 68 recorded offences – involving 57 companies – took place in the North East – with the nearest entries to the North East found in Bradford and Harrogate.

The launch of the database comes as new figures showed the rapid growth of privately rented housing in the UK in recent years.

Figures from the EU statistics bureau Eurostat this week showed home ownership levels in the UK to be in “long-term decline”, down by 9.3% since 2005.

The figures also suggest that out of the 2.9m homes constructed in the UK between 2000 and 2012, as many as 2.5m are currently being rented out.

Despite the good news for the North East, property expert Ajay Jagota, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the North East’s most innovative sales and lettings business KIS remains concerned about what he calls “revolving door redress schemes”.

The firm is famous for being the first letting agent in the UK to abolish deposits, replacing them with a one-of-a-kind landlord insurance policy offering guaranteed rent, deposit replacement, legal assistance and round the clock third party emergency home repairs.

Ajay said: “With prosecution only ever being a last resort, this sadly doesn’t mean that North East renters have nothing to worry about, but access to resources like this go at least some of the way towards giving renters peace of mind about their landlords and letting agents.

“My concern is that many of the firms listed on the database are still active. One company has been convicted of five offenses, but still appears to be operating like nothing has happened. There don’t seem to be any meaningful consequences for their actions – people are making their tenants lives miserable and getting away with it.

“Even worse, where does this leave the newly-launched letting agent redress scheme? You aren’t allowed to operate if you aren’t part of it, so does that mean you still join if you’ve been convicted of putting your tenant’s lives at risk? Do you get kicked out of your redress scheme if you are? Can you just join another redress scheme if that happens? These questions need answers.

“The issue is becoming more and more fundamental as more and more people choose renting over buying. A revolving door redress scheme isn’t good enough.”

KIS manage properties for landlords in every corner of the North East from branches across Tyne and Wear, were named Letting Agent of the Year in the 2013 Landlord and Letting Awards and finalists in 2014. The firm expanded into residential sales in 2014.

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert January 9, 2015 11:04

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