Is your Letting Agent Compliant? New rules came into force today!

From today (1st October 2014) ALL Letting Agents are required to be a member of a redress scheme of which there are now 3 – The Property Ombudsman, The Ombudsman Services (Property)   and The Property Redress Scheme.

These schemes give tenants and landlords a straightforward option to hold their agents to account and it is expected to increase the overall quality that letting agents and property managers provide.  Previously as many as 40 per cent of agents in the UK were not members of a scheme.

Before signing up, it’s useful to know what this actually is. The redress schemes have been put in place to make property managers and letting agents more accountable. They act as an independent third party who customers can contact to seek redress should an agent or property manager do something it isn’t supposed to.

This isn’t as straight forward as saying only Letting Agents must join a scheme. If you are classed as a Property Manager and are paid for arranging repairs, maintenance, improvements, insurance and any other deals relating to management of residential premises then you must also be registered.

This is the first step towards the legislation of all Letting Agents and something we welcome.

Don’t forget the following which you should also insist your current Letting Agent has in place to protect you, your income and your deposits. 

Was the deposit protected ?

Landlords and Letting Agents who fail to place tenants’ deposits in a government-recognised scheme within 30 days of receiving it face penalties of up to three times the value of the deposit, which is then awarded to the tenant. You also cannot serve a Section 21 notice.

 Is your rent and deposit protected by your Agent ?

Does your agent have a Client Money Protection Scheme in place to protect the rent and deposits? If it closes or an agent misappropriates client funds, landlords’ and tenants’ monies will be safeguarded.

 Be safe and use a Belvoir Agent.

Belvoir Dunstable are a member of Propertymark, The Property Ombudsman and Safe Agent. This means that they have agreed to meet defined standards of customer service, are part of a Client Money Protection Scheme and have a customer complaints procedure offering independent redress.