The Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, has written to the RLA to state that the Government intends to make it compulsory for letting and management agents to offer a redress scheme for customers.
In his letter to the RLA, Mr. Prisk confirmed, that there was a “growing body of evidence” to show that, “…consumer concerns about the letting industry are not being satisfactorily addressed through the current framework of consumer protection legislation.”
He also stated that whilst the majority of letting and management agents provide a “good service”, a minority of agents “offer a poor service and engage in unacceptable practices”.
Mr. Prisk stated that the Government’s response to such issues was to promote voluntary regulation through schemes such as SafeAgent. However, he noted the need for an additional redress scheme, which would, “…not only empower consumers to exercise their rights… but also drive up standards across the board, without imposing significant additional regulation on the sector.”
The RLA has welcomed the idea of a redress scheme in principle, having recently campaigned on the issue in light of growing demand from landlords calling for greater protection from rogue agents and an improvement to property management.
The RLA now looks forward to working with Mr. Prisk and its other partners to ensure the necessary changes are made to the current legislation.