Beware rogue estate and letting agents, warns trade body
A worrying number of Brits assume all estate agents, letting agents and landlords are regulated by a professional body, said Propertymark, when in fact many are not.
The trade association asked Brits who have bought, sold or rented a property in the last five years about their experiences with letting agents, estate agents, and landlords, revealing that more than half (54%) have faced issues.
However, it discovered that 37% of buyers and sellers, and 42% of renters didn’t consider whether their agent was part of a professional body before progressing with their transaction.
More than four in 10 renters admitted that it didn’t cross their mind to ask about professional body membership while one in six wrongly assumed all agents were regulated.
Of the 55% who faced issues with their property, more than half (57%) hadn’t checked if their agent or landlord was indeed covered. The led to issues such as waiting a long time for any issues with the property to be fixed (38%), struggling to get old items replaced (20%), or not getting their full deposits back – and not being given a reason why (12%).
Those who did check if their agent was a member of a professional body faced shorter waiting times when things needed fixing in their property; with issues typically being addressed within a week (41%).
Buying and selling
Less than half (47%) of buyers or sellers checked if their estate agent was regulated before moving ahead with the sale or purchase, with 14% prioritising over the agent because they were attached to the home they wanted to buy.
More than half (53%) encountered issues such as bad communication (19%), feeling as if the agent didn’t care about them (12%) and feeling pressurised (10%).
Mark Hayward of Propertymark, said: “Choosing a property, whether it’s to buy or rent, is a huge financial commitment and can be overwhelming, especially for first timers.
“It’s really important consumers look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo when choosing an agent; it means they’re dealing with a professional who has opted for regulation in an unregulated sector and it will give them peace of mind that their money is protected.”