LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Parliament approves order for letting agents' ombudsman schemes

Parliament approves order for letting agents' ombudsman schemes

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has now laid before Parliament an order for approval of the draft Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Approval and Designation of Schemes) (England) Order 2013. Approval has been given.

The motion, moved by CLG minister Baroness Stowell, was agreed in Grand Committee, signalling the first legislative step towards implementing the requirement that all letting agents must belong to an approved ombudsman scheme.

In the short debate,  concerns were expressed by peers, notably about whether multiple schemes would be approved to deal with redress.

Baroness Hayter, who has previously unsuccessfully tried to get letting agents recognised in law under the Estate Agents Act, also raised a number of concerns. In particular, she asked about client money protection.

Redress schemes will now be able to apply for approval to deal with complaints against letting and managing agents, with the requirement for all agents to belong to a recognised scheme due to be implemented in the New Year. However, the actual date has yet to be announced.

The order is here:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111105122/contents