Sheffield council fines estate agents £37,000 for not joining redress scheme
Sheffield council has issued fines to eleven letting agencies in the city for failing to join any of the three compulsory redress schemes.
The council claims it is the first authority outside London to use legislation introduced last year which insists agents should be registered with either The Property Ombudsman, the Property Redress Scheme or Ombudsman Services: Property.
There are arond 200 letting agents active in the city, where 16% of residents are the in private rented sector, and the fines issued by the council are believed to total £37,000.
The council has also taken eight other cases to court in the last six weeks to prosecute landlords and agents for breaking the law. This includes one case where a local landlord received fines of more than £4,300 for failing to repair or manage his rented property.
Cllr Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing, said: “We want the people of Sheffield to be able to live in good, safe housing, regardless of whether it’s rented or not.
“More people are living in rented housing as the cost of buying their own home becomes increasingly unaffordable. And we need to protect their rights.
“We are committed to this and will use all new legislation to help us. Thankfully most letting agents and landlords in Sheffield are very good and work with us really well. But we will take firm action on the small minority that do not follow the new measures designed to give tenants a fair deal.”
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