Better protection for tenants
Tenants, and those thinking of renting a property, are being urged by Croydon’s trading standards team to ensure their agent is affiliated to an approved redress scheme.
Since 1 October, letting agents in England have been required to register with one of three such schemes, designed to provide a free, independent service for resolving disputes between letting agents and their customers.
This compulsory requirement comes as a response to the increasing numbers of complaints from tenants and landlords about letting agents.
The schemes give tenants somewhere to turn if they have concerns about discrimination, hidden fees, missing deposits or other disputes – and, importantly, receive compensation if it is due.
Letting agents and property management agents have a choice of three approved redress schemes to join:
- The Property Ombudsman Service – www.tpos.co.uk
- Ombudsman Services: Property – www.ombudsman-services.org/property
- The Property Redress Scheme – www.theprs.co.uk
Tenants are advised to check that the agents they are dealing with belong to one of these schemes, each of which will be able to consider complaints made against the agent in the event of dissatisfaction with the way the agent has dealt with a particular matter.
Agents who have yet to join one of the approved redress schemes are reminded that they should do so immediately as non-compliance could result in a £5,000 fine.
Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “The size and popularity of Croydon mean that the borough has a large number of letting agents serving many thousands of tenants.
“It’s the council’s responsibility to ensure that they’re all abiding by the rules and providing the sort of service and reassurance their clients have a right to expect.
“Our trading standards team will be checking up on local agents to confirm they’ve joined one of the approved schemes, and to take enforcement action against those who haven’t.”
Press office, Croydon Council, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon, CR0 1EA
Tel: 020 8760 5644 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DATE: 12 December 2014