Oxfordshire County Council to "educate" letting agents

Oxfordshire County Council to "educate" letting agents

Published on 27th March 2019

Oxfordshire County Council to

Rental prices in Oxfordshire are among some of the highest in the country, made worse by the high demand and short supply. The City Council now says it wants to increase its work to educate and advise landlords and letting agents of what they are obliged to do under the law.

Oxfordshire Council has one of the wealthiest areas in the country and it will be “educating and advising letting agents” on a range of activities including “providing accurate descriptions of properties.”

Oxfordshire County Council says it is launching a new initiative which, in its words, will mean ”tenants will be better protected from poor quality housing and financial loss when renting a residential property.”

A statement from the Conservative-controlled authority says: “The council plans to increase its work in educating and advising landlords and letting agents of their legal requirements. This includes providing accurate descriptions of property, ensuring that consumers are fully informed about the availability of redress schemes and deposit protection schemes, as well as an imminent ban on unfair letting fees.”

It also says that in tandem with a range of unspecified “partners”, the council will provide additional information on meeting property safety standards, including requirements of the Fire Safety Order.

Then it threatens: “For those rogue businesses who fail to meet standards through poor accommodation or rip off fees and deposits, the council’s Trading Standards team wants to take tough action. It is currently developing a practical process to implement formal action and civil penalty arrangements, where needed.”

The statement is accompanied by comments from councillor Judith Heathcoat who says: “Some landlords might not understand their legal requirements in ensuring they make premises safe for residents, and we hope we can work constructively with them. However, our Trading Standards team cannot tolerate exploitation of tenants by rogue landlords and letting agents. We will use all our powers to protect vulnerable residents.”

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