A recent report published by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has revealed that nearly two thirds of tenants do not consider whether their landlord is licensed before signing a contract, highlighting a shortcoming in consumer knowledge that could lead to issues arising during a tenancy. The report illustrates a need to clarify industry and licensing regulations in the retail sector to allow tenants full peace of mind before committing to a contract.
Out of those who admitted that they didn't consider whether their landlord was licensed, 54% of respondents said they never thought to check, whilst 23% of people didn’t know that landlords and lettings agents should be licensed. Perhaps the most worrying statistic, however, is that one in ten people (12%) thought that all landlords and letting agents were licensed, and did not know that the standards of property and service are greatly improved under industry-regulated agents and bodies.
The results of the study correlate with issues tenants have experienced during the rental process, particularly concerning how comfortable the tenant feels with both their landlord and their lettings agent prior to signing their contract. Some of their worries arise from a lack of transparency regarding the cost of lettings fees, agents appearing unknowledgeable about the properties they’re advertising, and agents not arriving to arranged appointments. These problems only continue if a tenant agrees to the tenancy, with 55% of tenants reporting that they have experienced at least one problem with their landlord or agent over the last five years, and that the average amount of time it takes for a landlord to resolve an issue is 36 days, if at all.
ARLA’S Managing Director, David Cox, suggests that renting a house or a flat shouldn’t impact a tenants’ living experience any more than if they were to own the property, and maintains that the key to ensuring this is the case is for tenants to be aware of what they need to consider prior to agreeing to a tenancy. The study demonstrated that of those tenants who encountered issues with their landlord, over a third (37%) experienced stress or sleepless nights as a direct result. While all tenancy agreements are likely to experience some form of problem, no tenant should have to suffer (either mentally or physically) due to poor, unregulated service.
The first consideration for any tenant should always be your choice of letting agent, as signing with an unlicensed agent can result in a list of problems throughout the tenancy that are unlikely to be resolved. CPS Homes have been awarded ARLA membership, the only professional self-regulating body solely concerned with lettings, and as an ARLA-licensed agent, our tenants can be certain that any issues or problems during their tenancy will be resolved in a professional and safe manner.
We also work closely with a number of industry-recognised regulatory bodies in addition to ARLA, including The Property Ombudsman and Landlord Accreditation Wales, to ensure our service works alongside subscribed codes of practice, and is therefore a service you can trust.
At CPS Homes, we offer a range of properties to both buy and let across Cardiff and Cardiff Bay, while also providing an expert student accommodation service. If you’re looking to rent a property in Cardiff then get in touch with us at any of our three Cardiff branches where we can guarantee you a professional and qualified service as we find you your ideal property.