Complain to an independent redress scheme if your letting agent doesn't resolve a complaint about their service.
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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 2 government approved redress schemes:
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.
Ombudsman Services: Property provided a redress scheme until 6 August 2018. Your agent must join an alternative scheme if they were previously registered with Ombudsman Services.
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
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:
What happens next
The redress scheme will investigate your complaint.
If your complaint is upheld, the scheme can order the letting agent to:
- 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.
If you're worried about eviction
Get advice if you're worried you may be evicted for complaining:
Last updated 26 Jul 2018 | © Shelter
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