RLA welcomes principle of agents’ redress scheme proposal

Written by RLA

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…

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.

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The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.


  • Having experienced the common problems posed by letting agents when I started dealing with properties like :

    1 – demanding commission payment in advance for the entire length of the term. Something I have never agreed upon. Reasons being : :

    1.1 – If the contract is broken and the tenant leaves before the end of its term you are in a loss. The given guaranty the tenant would be replaced is unreliable it could take a long time because the agent would rather put a candidate in another property to get a new full term commission.

    2 – holding rents received for quite some time in their hands, sometimes for almost a month, obliging me to demand the payment.

    3 – inflating the costs of repairs to receive commissions from suppliers of goods or work.

    Now how to prevent those things to happen : Thinking about them, from the very beginning I settled my rules solving these problems for good:

    1 – Rents must be paid by the tenant directly to my bank account by standing order or direct debit. Commission would be paid by BACS into the letting agent’s account on my receiving the rent.

    2 – Repair quotations must be submitted in advance to me for approval.

    After a few years you end up knowing all the professionals you need like the gas technician for the annual inspection, plumbers, electricians and, very important – a handyman that would be able to do all the small repair jobs.

    Reaching that point I decided not to contract letting agents for management but just to find tenants, collecting applications, documents, checking referencing.

    Unless you have a port-foil of more than 20 properties or a much time consuming job it is perfectly feasible. It is not a matter of saving money but annoyance because that is the most troublesome area,

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