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Don't risk your money, warns Belvoir!

Belvoir Southsea and Waterlooville is urging landlords and tenants to protect themselves against ...

Belvoir Southsea and Waterlooville is urging landlords and tenants to protect themselves against unscrupulous agents that may be charging hidden fees.

“Since May 2015, all lettings and management firms in England and Wales are legally required to prominently display all their fees and charges to landlords and tenants, as well as displaying whether or not they are part of a recognised Client Money Protection Scheme,” says Samantha Bateman, who is Office Manager of the High Street based Belvoir Southsea and Waterlooville lettings agency. “This is a move that Belvoir welcomes, as it helps to protect clients, but we are concerned that some people may still be dealing with agents that are failing to comply with the law, which could leave them vulnerable to paying hidden charges and losing their deposits.

“Belvoir Southsea and Waterlooville belongs to a recognised Client Money Protection Scheme, and our fees are clearly displayed on our website and in our office so clients can be reassured that their money is not at risk and they will only pay for services that they know about and agree to. Unfortunately this is not the case with all agents, and there are some rogue individuals who give professional agents a bad name and will take advantage of vulnerable clients.

“Our message to landlords and tenants is simple - check that the letting agent you choose has listed all of their fees clearly on their website and in their office. Also check that the agent offers client money protection because this is the only way to ensure that tenant deposits are protected.

“There is a link on the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) website to a Letting Agent Complaint Tool that enables people to report agents who are failing to comply with the news laws. Trading Standards can take action against letting agents that hide their fees by fining them up to £5000.

“More people than ever are renting properties in this area and so it is vital that they work with professionals who have their interests at heart and clearly inform them how much their costs are going to be.”

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