A branch of Foxtons has been fined £2,500 for failing to properly describe a fee charged to tenants.
The agency was caught in a probe by Newham council’s Fair Lettings Project which has been inspecting and checking all agents in the borough, following letters to them back in 2015 regarding their obligations to consumers.
When Foxtons was visited early in 2016 a Newham council trading standards officer found that the description of the £425 administration fee, charged to prospective tenants, was not properly detailed.
Foxtons had not amended the description of this fee at the Stratford branch until as late as March 2016 and subsequently a penalty charge of £2,500 was imposed on the firm.
Newham council claims its initiative was introduced to ensure that all of the 200 or so residential letting agents in the borough were complying with consumer legislation.
“We have been striving to improve the quality of housing available in the borough through our Fair Lettings Project and Property Licensing Scheme” says an authority spokesman.
“We are using all the powers at our disposal to drive up standards for tenants in the private rented sector to ensure that our residents have access to good quality homes. Those agents who have failed to clearly display their fees and charges are not operating within the law and we are taking action to protect our residents.”