Time is Running Out for Letting Agents to Join a Redress Scheme
September 12, 2014
Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has confirmed that October 1 is the deadline by which all letting agents in England must have joined an approved redress scheme (the Property Redress Scheme, Ombudsman Services Property and The Property Ombudsman).
It seems there will be no grace period, so agents operating in England (the obligations do not yet apply to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) that are not already a member of one of the three schemes should quickly rectify that.
In 18 days any agents that has not signed up to a scheme will be breaking the law and can be fined up to £5,000.
This move is to provide landlords and tenants with the chance to have their complaint assessed by an impartial dispute resolution service that can award compensation for financial loss and/or aggravation, distress and inconvenience.
The redress schemes have a number of requirements, among them are that they must be free to complainants, be easy to access and provide full data about complaints in their annual reports.
Mr. Lewis stated that: “Most tenants and landlords are happy with the service they get from their letting agent, but in the small number of cases where people have complaints these should be addressed quickly and effectively… This will mean that anyone who feels they are not being treated fairly will have somewhere to go with their concerns – and could receive compensation.”
Young London has been a member of The Property Ombudsman Scheme for a number of years and feel that this move is very much in the sectors best interest and will help bring to heel the industry’s rogue minority.