10:32 AM, 3rd July 2014, About 8 years ago 12
The Property Redress Scheme held its first meeting this week and I was delighted to be asked to attend.
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.