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Protecting tenants from rip off agents

Published Friday, 25 April 2014

Regulations are being tightened up giving more people the confidence to rent.

Tenants and leaseholders in East Northamptonshire will receive stronger protection from unscrupulous letting agents under new plans announced by central government.

Letting and property management agents will be required to join one of three approved ‘redress schemes’, which are designed to ensure tenants and leaseholders have a straightforward option to hold their agents to account. Although the majority of agents are registered with one of these schemes, 40% of the industry has yet to join.

The three compulsory redress schemes – the Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property and the Property Redress Scheme – will offer independent investigation of complaints about hidden fees or poor service. Where a complaint is upheld, tenants and leaseholders could receive compensation.

Cllr Steven North, Leader of the Council, commented: “By joining one of these schemes, agents are committing to treating tenants in a fair and transparent way.  This should be a given but that isn’t always the case so we’re glad the regulations are being tightened up giving more people the confidence to rent properties in East Northamptonshire.”

The government also plans to bring in other measures to protect tenants including extra guidance for councils on rogue landlords and illegal eviction.

The Citizens Advice website offers helpful information for tenants and landlords on renting a home. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk to find out more.