Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Complaints About Lettings Agents  On The Rise
According To Property Redress Scheme

Due to the fact that more tenants and property owners are now aware of their consumer rights, especially the right to redress, there has been a month on month increase in the number of complaints being made against lettings agents, property management companies and estate agents.

The Property Redress Scheme, (PRS), is just one of three consumer redress schemes set up by the Government to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between the public and property agents.

From 1 October 2014 it became a legal requirement for all lettings agents, property managers and estate agents, as defined by legislation, in England to belong to one of the three Government approved redress schemes, which are:

The number of complaints raised with the PRS is increasing month on month. Of the complaints raised so far,

  • 44% of complaints have been raised by landlords about lettings agents
  • 41% of complaints have been raised by tenants about landlords
  • 15% of complaints have been raised by buyers and sellers of property about estate agents.

The complaints have varied widely in content, with the top three grievances being:

  • 21% – unfair or excessive fees
  • 18% – non return of holding deposit
  • 18% – perceived poor service or lack of communication

The PRS claims the enforced legislation is having a positive effect on the UK property market as lettings agents, property management companies and estate agents are beginning to resolve more complaints directly with their customers following notification of the unresolved issue by one of the redress scheme providers.

Grounds for non-acceptance of complaints have included

  • Consumers who had not first attempted to raise formal complaints with their agent and had instead gone directly to the PRS.
  • Complaints declined as the complaint involved on-going court action.

Head of Redress for the Property Redress Scheme, Mr Sean Hooker, 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.”

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