Leaders' Technical and Compliance Director
Landlords who let their properties through a letting agent are set to enjoy a further layer of protection - after new regulations came into effect on Wednesday (October 1st).
All letting agents are now required by law to register with one of three government-approved redress schemes: The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property or the Property Redress Scheme.
This means any landlord or tenant who believes they are or have been unfairly treated by a letting agent can take their grievance to the redress scheme with whom their agent is registered. And if their complaint is upheld, they stand to receive a compensation payout worth up to a maximum of £25,000.
Many letting agents are already signed up to one of the three schemes in question. Indeed, Leaders is proud to have been a member of The Property Ombudsman since April 2009, meaning we have been adhering to its strict code of conduct for more than five years.
We also welcome the introduction of the new regulations, which we hope will help to stamp out the unregulated activities of unscrupulous letting agents that unfortunately still exist in the industry.
There is little doubt that the new redress system is good news for landlords and tenants, who now have a fair, easy and straightforward way of making a formal complaint if they feel they have been let down by their agent.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis explained that whilst the majority of people are happy with the service they receive from their agent, it is important those who are not should have their complaints addressed quickly and effectively.
Redress is just one of several areas being tackled in order to add further protection for landlords and tenants, with more measures likely to be introduced in the future.
These include the PRS Code of Conduct, a new Help to Rent guide and extra guidance for local authorities on how to tackle rogue landlords.