If a letting agent doesn't resolve a complaint, private renters can complain to an independent letting agent redress scheme.
Letting agent redress schemes provide a free, independent service for resolving disputes between letting agents and their customers.
Letting agents have to be a member of one of three letting agent redress schemes.
Landlords and tenants can use the schemes. The decision made by a redress scheme is binding on all parties.
You can complain to a letting agent redress scheme about:
You can also complain if a letting agent breaches the redress scheme's code of conduct or doesn't have an in-house complaints procedure.
The schemes won't cover complaints about the amount of fees charged or if they are reasonable, tenancy deposits or issues which are the landlord's responsibility.
It's a criminal offence for a letting agent not to be a member of a redress scheme.
A local council can issue a fixed penalty fine of up to £5000 to a letting agency branch that is not a member of a scheme. Letting agents with multiple branches could face multiple fines.
Contact us if you believe an agent isn't registered with a scheme.
Letting agent redress schemes aren't the only way to resolve disputes with letting agencies. Other action you can take include:
Letting agent redress schemes can't help if you have already started court action about a dispute.
Find out more about how to make a complaint about a letting agent.
Contact our Housing Needs Team for advice if you are worried that you may be evicted if you complain.
Ask your letting agent which scheme they belong to or check their website. Some letting agents display details on stickers in their windows. There are three government-approved letting agent redress schemes:
To find out if a letting agent is a member of their scheme, you can search the redress scheme's membership list. You may have to search all three.