Aug 15

Is your letting agent operating within the law?

Before placing your property in the care of a letting agent, what checks should you carry out to make sure the agent is operating legally?

Since 1 October 2014, it has been a legal requirement for all lettings agents and property managers in England to belong to a Government approved redress scheme. This ensures that both landlords and tenants have access to independent adjudication to deal with any complaints that may arise.

There are three approved redress schemes and you can follow the links below to check whether your agent belongs to one of them:

Property Redress Scheme
Ombudsman Services Property
The Property Ombudsman

From May 2015, letting agents in England are also required to display certain information in their offices and on their website, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The information includes:

• A full list of their fees;
• The name and address of the redress scheme that they belong to; and
• Whether they belong to a client money protection scheme (if they hold any money as part of their agency service).

Client money protection (CMP) schemes ensure that any client money held by an agent is protected. So if the agent goes out of business or in the unlikely event that they disappear overnight then you can go through the scheme to recover your money. To find agents in your area offering CMP, you can visit the Safe Agent website (http://safeagents.co.uk).

If you have concerns about an agent that is not complying with the law, you can refer the case to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice website or by calling Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.

By Richard Tacagni, Managing Director of London Property Licensing

About the author

Richard Tacagni Photograph Richard is the founder and Managing Director of London Property Licensing, a new business formed in January 2015 offering expert advice to private landlords, letting agents and trade associations on the regulation of private rented housing.

Richard is also a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and housing specialist with over 22 years local government experience at an operational, policy development and senior management level. He has expert knowledge in the regulation of private rented housing.

View more posts by Richard Tacagni

Total Landlord Insurance is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced in the comments below.

comments powered by Disqus