March 2010

Letting Agents should be regulated says Property Ombudsman

In his latest annual report, Ombudsman Christopher Hamer said disputes with letting agents rose from 28% to 49% of his workload last year.  He predicted that problems over lettings would make up two-thirds of his workload this year.

Estate agents are required by law to be registered with an official redress scheme, and as a result 90% of all UK estate agents have signed up with the Property Ombudsman’s scheme.  But the situation is different with letting agents, who are not under any such obligation.  “Whilst many agents in the lettings business (a total of 2,241 companies) are in Property Ombudsman membership… there are still many firms operating under their own interpretation of what are appropriate standards” said Christopher Hamer.

Ian Potter, of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, said the body wanted to see a government-backed scheme for better control of letting agents.  “Until the government acts, we therefore urge all consumers to use an agent who belongs to a professional body and to ensure that their landlords also do so,” he said.

Want to get up to date property advice and expert knowledge?

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and get insights straight into your inbox.