Letting agents essential to fight against modern slavery

Propertymark is working to boost awareness of the ways in which letting agents can fight against organised crime, specifically in the area of modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT).

Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)

The newly created DLUHC’s published its first modern slavery statement on 25 November 2021, which outlines the way it has been and will continue to crack down on modern slavery within communities across the UK. This follows on from the March 2020 statement, which saw the UK become the first country to publish a government modern slavery statement.

Supporting DLUHC commitment, Propertymark has been working with the National Crime Agency and, recently Kent and Essex Police to support a national initiative aiming to identify premises secured through letting agents for criminal activity.

Agents against slavery and human trafficking

Due to the insidious and far-reaching nature of MSHT, the signs can be hard to spot. It’s essential for agents to be able to conduct their duties safely but also practice the utmost due diligence when doing so.

There are several tell-tale signs that agents should be aware of when identifying if a property is being used for criminal purposes.

Signs to look for with a tenant

  • poor or no references from a previous letting agent
  • tenant is uncooperative or vague
  • offering to pay several months in advance
  • preference to pay rent in cash without reasonable justification

Physical indications with the property

  • a short term let of less than two months
  • frequent visitors throughout the day and night
  • rubbish full of condoms and massage oil
  • curtains closed permanently 
  • a variety of cars parked on the drive

Report any suspicions or concerns via 101. You can also report them anonymously to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

Read DLUHC first statement…