The Property Redress Scheme and the Lettings Industry

by Paul Shamplina

10:32 AM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

The Property Redress Scheme and the Lettings Industry

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The Property Redress Scheme and the Lettings Industry

The Property Redress Scheme held its first meeting this week and I was delighted to be asked to attend.Paul Shamplina Landlord Action

This scheme has been sanctioned by the Government for all Letting Agents to join later this year, and it will be compulsory for agents to join one of the schemes so that both landlords and tenants can have the correct remedy, if they have a complaint about their agent. The other two schemes are The Property Ombudsmen and Ombudsmen Services.

I am pleased to announce I have accepted a role to be on The Property Redress Scheme Advisory Council with Tessa Shepperson and Lord Palmer of Childs Hill. Our roles will primarily be to assist with appeals, from members (lettings agents) in the scheme specifically with regard to their behavior and membership.

It is excellent news that finally the government has taken seriously bringing in a redress scheme and a compulsory requirement for the industry. There has been a minority of rogue agents giving good agents a bad name and it is time for this to stop. I had a discussion with a respected property journalist in 2001, saying that there was clearly a need for a law enforcing letting agents to belong to such a scheme like Estate Agents are. Now 13 years later this has finally come to fruition.

The Property Redress Scheme concentrates on best practice and offering the consumer sufficient protection. Ultimately I welcome this positive move, but when it becomes mandatory that all agents must have Client Protection Monies Insurance in place, so that rents and deposit are protected, then we know we have really achieved something.

There are currently an estimated 4000 agents that do not belong to any form of scheme or association. Our debt recovery department will always pursue a case against a rogue agent that has withheld a landlord’s rent, and often we are forced to start debt recovery proceedings. Lastly it’s important that Landlords and Tenants are educated and informed. We recommend that they use an agent that is affiliated to a recognized scheme or association. Too many times in the past I have seen Landlords instruct agents because of price. It is always better to see if the agent belongs to an association or redress scheme and has Client Protection Monies Insurance in place, so everyone has peace of mind.

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Comments

Neil Patterson

10:41 AM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

Brilliant news and well done Paul on your appointment.

Tessa Shepperson

10:55 AM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

Its a very exciting initiative. The PRS is a straightforward 'no nonsense' scheme designed to appeal to people who have chosen not to joint TPOS or the Ombudsman Scheme and who don't want a lot of red tape.

You can see my post about it here http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2014/07/02/the-property-redress-scheme-for-the-other-40/

Adam Hosker

11:08 AM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

Still not enforced but this is one sign its getting ever closer as once "enough" redress schemes exist then it will apparently be enforced.

@Paul - The redress scheme is against letting agents, they are the only ones that can be accused? of wrongdoing.

The legislation brings in no Code of Conduct being voluntary; so what are Letting Agents regulated by? - the contract the landlord signs with them?

Zoe C

11:21 AM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hello

Is there any news on Private Landlords and their obligation to the scheme?

Thanks

Tessa Shepperson

11:21 AM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

Letting agents and property managers are those who will need to be signed up to an approved redress scheme.

I understand that the government may be publishing a code which will apply in all cases. So that is the standard that will be applied - or any other code that the particular agent has signed up to.

Tessa Shepperson

11:54 AM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Zoe C" at "03/07/2014 - 11:21":

Landlords won't have to register wtih a redress scheme. They will be the ones benefiting from it (along with tenants) as they will have somewhere to complain to. Assuming their agent has signed up of course.

But after the scheme comes into force, agents signing up will be in breach of the law - unlike now.

Adam Hosker

12:10 PM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

Thanks Tessa; so we are Agents bound by current legislation and the Contract agreed with their customers (and rudeness; apparently).

We will see if "landlords" do not have to register with a redress scheme in a year or so; if Tenant can complain to Agent but not the Property Owner - this will be seen as an "anomaly" in parliament by then - the creep of further and additional regulation.

Romain Garcin

13:42 PM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

The obvious question is: Why a new compulsory scheme when the existing ones are not?

I thought the obligation will just be to join _a_ scheme. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding Paul's announcement.

Adam Hosker

13:51 PM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

This is A scheme; join this one or one of the other two. It is compulsory to join one of them soon (not yet) if your an agent.

Tessa Shepperson

13:56 PM, 3rd July 2014
About 4 years ago

That right, you have to join one of the three authorised schemes - The Property Ombudsman, The Ombudsman Service or the Property Redress Scheme (which is the one Paul and I are with).

So if you are signed up with TPOS, for example, then you are already compliant.

The regulations will probably come into force in October but it is not certain yet. If not October it will be April 2015.

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