Letting agent redress schemes

Complain to an independent redress scheme if your letting agent doesn't resolve a complaint about their service.

What is a letting agent redress scheme?

A letting agent redress scheme can resolve disputes between letting agents and their customers. Both landlords and tenants can complain to a scheme.

Agents must join 1 of the 3 government approved redress schemes:

The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

The Property Redress Scheme

Ombudsman Services: Property

Your agent must display the name of the scheme they belong to in their offices and on their website.

The council can fine letting agents up to £5000 if they don’t join a redress scheme.

Complaints a redress scheme can deal with  

You can complain to a scheme about issues such as:

  • failure to explain things properly
  • avoidable delays
  • hidden fees
  • rudeness

You can't usually complain about things which are the fault or responsibility of the landlord unless the agent has contributed to the problem.

If your complaint is about non-return or deductions from your deposit at the end of your tenancy, use your tenancy deposit dispute resolution service instead.    

How to complain

You must give the letting agent a chance to deal with the problem before you complain to a redress scheme.

Use the agent's internal complaints procedure or write to the manager if they don't have procedure.

You can complain to the redress scheme if either of the following apply:

  • you're unhappy with the final response from the agent
  • 8 weeks have passed since your initial complaint and the issue is unresolved

You must complain within the time limit set by the scheme.

Follow the instructions for making a complaint on the redress scheme's website:

The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

The Property Redress Scheme

Ombudsman Services: Property

What happens next

The redress scheme will investigate your complaint.

If your complaint is upheld, the scheme can order the letting agent to:

  • apologise
  • reimburse you for financial loss
  • pay compensation for avoidable distress or inconvenience

The scheme's decision is binding on you and the letting agent.

Other ways to resolve a dispute 

You could consider:

  • a complaint to Trading Standards
  • a complaint to Propertymark if your agent is a member
  • court action to claim compensation

Redress schemes won't deal with your complaint if you've already started court action.

Find out more about complaints about letting agents

If you're worried about eviction

Get advice if you're worried you may be evicted for complaining:

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone


Last updated 01 Jun 2018 | © Shelter

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