Letting agents in England are being urged to check that they are signed up to an approved redress scheme that covers the full remit of their work.
The warning comes after a letting agents was recently fined £3000 for belonging to an approved redress scheme for its letting agency work but not for its property management work.
In one of the first cases of its kind, the agent in question was fined because while their redress scheme membership covered it for sales and lettings, commercial sales and lettings and some property management, the residential leasehold management part of the business was not covered.
Since 1st October 2014 it has been a requirement for letting and managing agents to be a member of a redress scheme. The purpose of these schemes is to deal with complaints made by tenants or landlords about agents. There are some exemptions for this requirement. You can read more about this in our guidance.
The two approved redress schemes are Property Redress Scheme and The Property Ombudsman. It is a legal requirement for letting agents to belong to a redress scheme, and failure to do so could result in a penalty notice being issued.
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme said:
“Whilst PRS membership covers most agents for all the work they do, they must tell us from the outset the areas they undertake work in so we can record this under their membership”
Katrine Sporle of the Property Ombudsman said:
“TPOs online membership and website provides detailed information about the categories of work TPO provides redress for, the options available and clarity around the need to be registered for each category”.
- The requirement to belong to a redress scheme came into force a few years ago, and earlier in 2019 it also became a requirement for letting agents in England to an approved client money protection scheme. Learn more about this in the RLA’s guidance for letting agents here.
- The RLA runs a number of useful courses for letting agents. We are running an Agents Update classroom course in September, which is designed to give both new letting agents and experienced agents an update of the legislation changes they need to know about.