Agents letting out illegal properties, BBC programme claims

Letting agents are marketing illegal properties, a BBC programme alleged last night.

It named an agent, which according to its website, is an NAEA member. The property shown was a flat without any external windows, behind a fake garage door, being let out for £1,000 a month to a family whose first language is not English.

Inside Out, broadcast in London, also drew attention to a new generation of ‘beds in sheds’ – more upmarket, generally well built structures at the end of gardens, but which had nevertheless been built without any planning permission.

The programme said that many owners claimed the new-looking properties had been built four years ago, meaning that they could no longer be subject to enforcement action. Inside Out described the properties as being under the radar, and despite their better appearance sub-standard.

In the case of the 1930s block of garages, Inside Out showed a flat without windows, where the tenants said they were paying £1,000 rent a month. The agent was named as Milestone, of Willesden, which displays the NAEA and TPO logos on its websites.

Milestone denied to the BBC that it even had the property on its books and asked the reporter to leave.

Ombudsman Christopher Hamer appeared on the programme, saying that it was agents’ responsibility to make further inquiries about the properties they are handling.
Article courtesy of Landlord Today
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