Letting agents and property managers will be required to register with at least one of three government approved redress schemes. The RLA has produced a guide that outlines what the schemes are, who is included, how enforcement will work and when it will come into action. There is discrepancy over ‘casual’ letting agents and property managers, but RLA advice is to read the guide to protect from legal difficulty.
Those in breach of redress scheme requirements may be fined £5,000 for their infractions when the scheme comes into force. Policy Director, and author of the guide, Richard Jones, thinks this will be sometime in October 2014.
A majority of letting agents and property agents have already signed up to the scheme, but more ‘casual’ property managers should be aware of the requirements to register to a scheme. The guide defines what work constitutes a letting agent, but more importantly property manager.
The thinking is: people acting as property managers for friends or a few landlords may not consider registering for a scheme. However, the RLA feel that it is better to be safe than sorry and if someone is open about working as a property manager it would be prudent to register to a scheme. Further guidance is awaited, but make sure you read section 8 of the guide “Business Activities” to make certain you do not fall foul of legislation when it comes to pass.
A complaints procedure is embedded within the redress scheme overall framework. Though there are three separate schemes and rules may vary from scheme to scheme, each scheme is underpinned by a Government approved code of practice.