An interesting report in the Oxford Mail shows that it is never a waste of time to complain about rogue agents to Trading Standards.
Oxford Trading Standards, in a joint operation with the Police, have raided two estate agents offices and two homes in a probe into complaints about missing rent and deposit payments. This follows six months of investigations into about 50 complaints from landlords and tenants, regarding missing money. It is believed that losses could total hundreds of thousands of pounds.
A man has also been arrested under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulation 2008 (formerly the Trades Description Act).
Ian Marriott, group manager of trading standards, said:
“We had reasonable grounds to suspect offences had been committed under these regulations. Trading standards have received a significant number of complaints which varied in nature. But mostly we’ve had complaints about the failure to return deposits and failure to pass on rents that have been taken. There have also been complaints about a general failure to communicate.
For us this has been quite a big operation. It’s really unusual for us to be dealing with high street premises such as these.”
But what a good thing those complaints were made! If only two people have complained (for example) they might not have taken any action.