Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency and Property Management Work

It is legal requirement that all letting agents and property management agents belong to a Government approved redress scheme.

Further details of this can be found on the GOV.UK website.

This means that:

  • tenants
  • landlords
  • leaseholders
  • freeholders

 will be able to complain to an independent organisation about the service they have received. The hope is that the need to belong to a redress scheme will help to:

  • weed out bad agents
  • drive up private rented r standards

This will be enforced by council’s, who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where an agent or property manager who should have joined a scheme hasn’t done so.

The 3 schemes are:

What Is Meant By ‘Lettings Agency’ Work?

Lettings agency work is work carried out by an agent in response to instructions from:

  • a private rental sector landlord who wants to find a tenant
  • a tenant who wants to find a private rental sector property

Lettings Agency work does not include the following, when done by someone who only does those things:

  • publishing advertisements or providing information
  • providing a way for landlords and tenants to make direct contact with each other
  • providing a way for landlords and tenants to continue communicating directly with each other

It also does not include things which are done by the Local Authority.

The intention is that all ‘high street’ and ‘web’ based letting agents, including charities, will be subject to the duty to belong to an approved redress scheme.

What Is Meant By Property Management Agents Work?

Property management work is work carried out by someone in the course of a business in response to instructions received from another person who wants to arrange:

  • services
  • repairs
  • maintenance improvement
  • deal with any other aspect of the management of residential homes

 It does not include things done by, amongst others, housing associations or local authorities who are social landlords. These already belong to the Housing Ombudsman Scheme.

The premises must consist of, or contain, a dwelling-house let under either a long lease, an assured tenancy or a protected tenancy.

What If A Letting Agent or Property Manager Doesn’t Join A Scheme?

  • a letting agent or property manager who fails to join one of the 3 approved Schemes can be subject to a £5,000 fine from the council.
  • they can be closed down if they continue to breach their legal requirement to join one of the schemes.

All letting agents and property managers who have joined a redress scheme should contact privatesectorhousing@southend.gov.uk to confirm they have joined.

If you want to report a person or company who lets properties but who has not joined a scheme, contact us with the details at council@southend.gov.uk. We can then investigate further.

By joining a Scheme, the Agent or property manager agrees to work by the Ombudsman’s decision. If they fail to do so it may result in the agent or property manager being removed from the Scheme. They will then find it difficult to join another approved scheme.

Further information can be found on the link below:

Letting Agents and Property Managers - Which Government approved redress scheme do you belong to?

You can also find more information at www.gov.uk.

Page last updated: 28/11/2019