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Estate agents have to be members of a redress scheme, so why not landlords?

As the NRLA backs government plans for compulsory landlord redress scheme membership, PRS chief Sean Hooker explains why it's needed.

Sean Hooker

sean hooker redress scheme

We at the Property Redress Scheme, have been calling for the introduction of landlord redress for several years now.

What is clear is that the whilst the criminal landlord gets all the headlines, it is really only the tip of the iceberg.

There is a significant number of amateur landlords whose unconscious incompetence is staggering.

Whilst far from the majority, they pervade the sector, especially in those areas where the most vulnerable rely on their services.

They under cutting and undermining the decent, compliant and professional landlords, who do their homework, follow the rules, undertake the training or are circumspect enough to realise their own short comings and either join a landlord association or use a qualified agent.

What is also clear is that attempts to resolve the issues have been cumbersome and ineffective, relying on under-resourced local authorities, overworked courts and disjointed legislation.

What is frustrating is that a many of the answers are staring the Government in the face. There are many organisations in the industry that have the skills and expertise to deliver a robust and effective solution to the challenges.

Dispute resolution

These bodies already provide valuable services that provide strong dispute resolution, competency training, best practice and guidance. Whilst many landlords see the value of this, for most they opt out.

A mandatory system of redress delivered by competent bodies, would protect tenants, support landlords and make it easier for enforcement agents to track down those landlords who want to operate under the radar.

This simple change could be implemented tomorrow if the Government had the will do so, whereas court reform and say the introduction of a housing court will take much longer and require significant resources.

Organisations like ourselves and our sister company mydeposits, already run effective schemes providing complaint resolution for customers of letting agents and protecting and resolving deposit disputes.

We also set up a professional mediation service over the pandemic to help stave off a rent arrears crisis and this is works equally well for resolving other tenancy disputes, such a repair issues and personal disputes between the parties.

“We have proven that we can deliver, quick, successful and affordable solutions to the challenges and are ready to step up the mark. All the Government would need to do is approve the right organisations and we can all get on to the job.”

August 26, 2021

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