Landlords and tenants alike should be worried after Hatfield firm’s fine
PUBLISHED: 17:00 31 August 2013
A PROPERTY expert has said a court case, which saw a lettings agent fined thousands of pounds for fire safety failings, should worry tenants and landlords alike.
In June, Hatfield firm Strats Estates and Letting Agents were ordered to pay £41,200 in fines and costs after admitting multiple breaches of health and safety law, in a case brought by Welwyn Hatfield Council.
This week WGC-based lettings expert Kevin Harris, from KIS Lettings, believes the industry needs to improve its reputation and worries that this case “doesn’t help at all”.
He said: “The Welwyn Hatfield area is home to many excellent property companies and personally I’ve only ever heard positive things about Strats, so it’s reassuring to hear that the magistrate in this case commended the company for getting their act together
“Nonetheless, this should never have happened.
“Cases like this must be extremely worrying for renters and landlords alike, not to mention very frustrating for those of us who are keen to improve the reputation of the lettings industry.
“If you rent your home, you have a right to expect that your property is safe.
“It shouldn’t even need saying.”
He added: “My guess is that most landlords who do fall foul of laws like these aren’t crooked or uncaring – they’re often just DIY operators who don’t appreciate how complicated and ever-changing landlord law is and need a little professional support.
“But they need to know they can trust the people they go to for that support, and people need to know they can trust letting agents.
“Sadly, this case doesn’t help at all.”