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Stricter lettings agents lawsa urged.

CALLS are being made for rental sector tenants to be given greater legal protection, which would see rogue lettings agents put out of business in the worst cases.

Which? said that lettings agents should be governed by the same lawsa as estate agents and the Officef of Fair Trading (OFT) should havea the power to ban lettings agents who break the rules.

There are 4.7 million UK households in the private rental sector and two thirds of private tenancies invo n lve an agent.

But Which? said these households face a "gamble" as to whether they get a good or bad agent. Four out of 10 tenants it surveyed said they thought the up-front fees being charged are unfair and the group said it had seen evidence of some lettings agents using "aggressive sales tactics".

Some tenants are also being charged up to PS90 to renew a tenancy and up to PS120 to "check out" of a property, y the consumer group said.

Which? said that lettings agents should include their fees in the headline price and made clear at the point of sale, in adverts and on websites. Agents should also provide full details of the terms and conditions of the agreement beforf e any n upfront fees are paid, the body said.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 24, 2012
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