Landlord fined £5,000 for not joining redress scheme
Published: 6 November 2018
Redbridge Council is urging letting agents to ensure they are aware of their legal responsibilities after it fined a local firm £5,000 for failing to sign up to a complaints redress scheme.
Since 2014 property managers and letting agents must have joined one of the two official redress schemes, so that tenants and landlords can get independent adjudication of disputes. Redbridge have previously contacted letting agents in the borough to advise on the requirements of the legislation.
Nationwide Residential & Commercial Ltd of 198-200 High Road, Woodford were issued with the Fixed Penalty Notice after Trading Standards visited their offices in June 2018 to discover the agent did not belong to a government-approved scheme.
They have paid the fine and now joined a redress scheme.
The council’s Trading Standards team is actively reviewing letting agents operating in the borough to ensure registration as part of a wider clampdown on rogue landlords. Landlords requiring support should contact the council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Cllr Farah Hussain said: “A large proportion of our residents rent privately and we will not tolerate unscrupulous landlords and letting agents that do not abide by the law. Our Trading Standards team are checking all letting agents to ensure registration so that tenants in the borough are properly protected. We will work with letting agents and landlords to help them meet their obligations but if they are unwilling to do so, have no hesitation in taking tough action by imposing a fine or prosecuting.”
Information on the redress scheme and how to register can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lettings-agents-and-property-managers-redress-schemes
The council has introduced a selective licensing scheme covering 79 per cent of the private rented sector in the borough. Property owners or agents can apply for a licence here: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/housing/private-rentals/apply-for-a-property-licence/
Check rogue landlords online
The council has signed up to the Mayor of London’s Rogue Landlords and Letting Agents Checker, a free online tool which allows Londoners to check if a landlord or letting agent has been convicted of any housing offences. You can access the checker here https://www.london.gov.uk/rogue-landlord-checker