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LETTING REDRESS SCHEME

An announcement has been made in Parliament that all residential letting and property management agents will be required to join one of three approved redress schemes later in 2014. Residential letting agents will be required to become a member of one of the following:

  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Ombudsman Services Property
  • The Property Redress Scheme

Many letting agents are already members of such schemes but not all are members so the Government is attempting to redress the situation.

Given that all estate agents carrying out estate agency work in relation to residential property in the UK have been required to belong to an approved estate agents redress scheme since 1 October 2008 it makes sense that tenants should have similar rights of redress in the residential lettings market.

This announcement goes hand in hand with The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) draft Code of Practice, Private Rented Sector Code (Code) which is has just published and on which it was seeking comments; the consultation closed on 30 April and we await the outcome.

The Code’s aims are to:

  • Promote best practice in the letting and management of residential property.
  • Ensure a sustainable private rented sector where flexible and longer leases are available with high quality management.
  • Achieve the Department for Communities and Local Government’s aim to publish a new code of practice raising standards in the private rented sector.

The main use of the Code will be by landlords, letting and managing agents. It will also be a helpful reference point for tenants seeking redress.

If you require assistance with Assured Shorthold Tenancies – [drafting] contact Jan Woodland on jw@slcsolicitors.com – [rent arrears recovery or possession] contact Alison McLachlan on apm@slcsolicitors.com .

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