Lettings Agents and Property Managers are reminded that they need to register with a Redress Scheme …. or they risk a £5k fine.
A year ago, on 1 October 2014, the government brought in new rules which mean that all Lettings Agents and Property Managers involved in letting agency work and/or property management work in the private rented sector are required to be registered with a Secretary of State Approved Redress Scheme.
The idea behind it is to help tenants who need to complain about letting agent fees, inaccurate property descriptions, disputes over deposits, inaccurate charging or rent not being passed onto their landlord.
Birmingham City Council cabinet member for Neighbourhood Management and Homes, Cllr John Cotton, said: “The Redress Scheme is nearly a year old now so it seemed a good opportunity to remind Lettings Agents and Property Managers of their duties, and of the risks if they fail to comply with the law.
“Whilst the majority of people who rent their property do so without any problem whatsoever, some people face all sorts of problems. This scheme has come about to protect tenants who may be caught in the middle between landlords and agents or managers.
“We are here to support both tenants and landlords in this growing market and as such we welcome the scheme and will pursue and fine those who try and avoid it.”
To find out more about the scheme visit – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lettings-agents-and-property-managers-redress-schemes
To talk to Birmingham City Council’s Private Rented Sector Team call 0121 303 5070
For further media information call Press and PR Officer Debbie Harrison on 303 4476
Notes to editors -
- There are presently three approved schemes run by
The Property Ombudsman
Ombudsman Services Property
Property Redress Scheme
- The Scheme was introduced by The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 ss.83- 88
- Local authorities have a legal duty to enforce compliance. The local authority, where it is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities that a person who is required to register, has not registered with a redress scheme, may apply a monetary penalty up to a limit of £5,000
- The Local Authority must serve a notice on the Letting Agent . The Notice gives the recipient the right to raise objections. After considering any objections raised the Local Authority can level the monetary penalty
- Where the Council decides to apply a penalty the Letting Agent has a right of appeal to the first –tier Tribunal. The Tribunal may:
quash the final notice
confirm the final notice
vary the final notice
- The Local Authority may recover the monetary penalty on the order of a court, as if payable under a court order i.e. as a civil debt. Sums received by an enforcement authority under a monetary penalty may be used by the authority for any of its functions.