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Redress Schemes To Become Compulsory For Letting Agents

November 27, 2013 | Landlord News   Professionals  

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In an effort to simplify and reduce the cost of resolving problems tenants or landlords may have with their letting agents, the Government is looking to make it compulsory for letting agents and property managers to belong to a redress scheme.

Draft rules have been set out regarding the grounds on which a complaint could be made, and how the redress schemes are to operate. Letting agents will be required to clearly state their fees, and only charge fees that are proportionate to the level of service provided.

The redress schemes – the already existing TPO and Ombudsman Services plus whatever other redress schemes meet with approval from the Secretary of State – cannot force letting agents to adhere to a code of practice, although complaints can be made for non-compliance with a voluntary code.

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Housing minister Kris Hopkins said, “The conditions we are publishing set out our view of what needs to be considered in setting up a redress scheme that can give peace of mind to many people living and operating in the private rented sector and in leasehold accommodation.

“Residential leaseholders and freeholders also now have somewhere they can go to resolve the day-to-day management problems that can arise with managing agents, without having to resort to a tribunal or court.”

Schemes will be urged to apply next month, with the aim of having the Redress Schemes Order in effect before January. Letting agents are encouraged to join one before it becomes compulsory.

 

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