A letting agent has been fined £4,000 for failing to publish the correct fees they charge tenants and landlords. Atco Estates, in Essex, also failed to provide information about its memberships of Client Money Protection and redress schemes.
Trading Standards officers first advised Atco Estates of their responsibilities in January 2017. At a follow-up check last May, they found that the fees listed on the agent’s website were inaccurate, and served a penalty notice. Atco Estates appealed the original notice stating they had displayed fees on their website and that they could not afford to pay the fine.
A hearing last month by the General Regulatory Council 1st tier Tribunal found that the fees listed on the agent’s website were inaccurate. The tribunal did not accept the letting agent’s argument that they could not afford payment and fined Atco Estates £4,000.
Cllr Mullane, cabinet member for environment and community safety at Dagenham, said: “We want to protect our residents and this case shows that we won’t allow businesses who do not play by the rules to get away with it.
“If you want to be a letting agent in Barking and Dagenham, the message is crystal clear, you must comply with the law.”