Landlords and tenants are piling in complaints against letting agents under the new property redress schemes.
Since October 1, all letting agents must belong to one of three government authorised redress schemes –
The Property Redress Scheme says the number of complaints is rising each month as landlords and tenants are made aware they can get compensation from letting agents.
Landlords have made 44% of all complaints, while tenants lodged 41% and the rest involved property buyers and sellers with gripes against estate agents.
The main disagreement between letting agents landlords and tenants is excessive fees (21%).
Failing to return deposits and poor communicateion with customers (both 18%) are the next most common complaint.
The redress schemes also explained that many complaints are resolved before reaching one of the three ombudsman.
Sean Hooker, head of redress for the PRS, said: “It is great to see that consumers are becoming aware of their right to redress.
“The existence of the schemes means that agents can no longer shirk their responsibility to address client dissatisfaction without being held to account.
“Some consumers have found that by simply informing their agent that they have been in contact with the PRS, it has prompted their agent to actively address the issues they have raised.”
The redress schemes were appointed by the government as part of a new law tightening up rules on rogue letting agents who offered poor customers service, charged high fees and in some cases left landlords out of pocket by doing a moonlight flit with deposits and rents.
Letting agents who are not part of the scheme should be reported to their local trading standards office, who have the responsibility of prosecuting them.
Fines of up to £5,000 can be demanded from agents who have not joined the scheme.
Letting agents who have signed up to one of the schemes are listed on the scheme web site.
The Property Redress Scheme says the Number of Complaints is Rising each month. – http://t.co/11PY11Ivtc
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) January 19, 2015