PRODUCTS3Around two thirds of renters do not consider if their letting agent or landlord is licensed according to a report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

The study revealed that for those who didn’t consider whether their landlord or agent was licenced, more than half (54 per cent) said it didn’t even cross their mind to check while nearly a quarter did not know that letting agents or landlords should be licensed.

In fact one in 10 wrongly assumed that all letting agents and landlords were licensed and therefore do not know the difference in standards they can expect, according to the

The research found before they had signed on the dotted line, more than one in five tenants had concerns about their landlord or letting agent, doubling to 43 per cent amongst Londoners.

The most common problems faced by would-be tenants at this stage were lack of clarity around fees, agents not knowing enough about the property, being pushy and not turning up to appointments.

While 45 per cent haven’t had any problems with their landlord or letting agent over the past five years, over half (55 per cent) of the tenant population have experienced at least one problem.

The most common issue which affected nearly a third of renters (31 per cent) was the amount of time it had taken to fix any problems such as boilers, heating and electricity. Once a problem was flagged, tenants had to wait 36 days on average for the issue to be resolved and an unfortunate one in seven never had their problems sorted.

David Cox, managing director of ARLA, told “Our home is our castle and there is no reason for it to not be fit for a king. Just because you rent a property it should not impact your levels of enjoyment, especially as there is such a high price to pay for renting.

“For anyone looking to rent, there are basic boxes to tick to ensure you receive the best possible end result – and this starts with choosing your letting agent and landlord. Choosing an unlicensed letting agent could leave tenants with a long list of problems.

“ARLA would like to see a fully regulated industry to build a better, stronger private rented sector.”