There are currently two redress schemes set up to monitor all letting agents and allow for complaints to be investigated independently.
The two schemes are the Property Redress Scheme with more than 13,250 letting agency branches and the Property Ombudsman scheme covering more than 40,000 agents.
The Property Redress Scheme is now inviting landlords to join its advisory council.
All estate agents, lettings agents and property managers in England and Wales must become members of one or otherscheme with the fine for non-participation up to £5,000. The Government’s intention in prescribing the legislation specifying mandatory membership is to ensure that disputes between letting agents, tenants and landlords, or estate agents, buyers and sellers, can be better resolved using such third party oversight.
Typical complaints include lack of explanation, delays, rudeness and/or providing misleading information.
The PRS deals with approximately 2000 complaints from tenants, landlords, property buyers and sellers each year and in 2021 awarded nearly £500,000 in compensation to those who had complaints upheld.
The current PRS Advisory Council was set up to advise the Head of Redress – well known Lettings Industry figure Sean Hooker – and refer him to matters of consideration such as new or modified laws or forthcoming government policies as they relate to the industry. The Advisory Council also scrutinises Hooker’s work and ensures the scheme’s impartiality.
Now, the Property Redress Scheme is announcing what it calls ”a significant change” to the membership of its Advisory Council to improve governance and accountability.
It will now be called the Property Redress Scheme Advisory Panel and it is inviting applications “to promote a genuinely authentic outlook and attitude across all areas of the property spectrum and to ensure that the PRS itself takes a balanced and knowledgeable view in its vision and in all of its policy decisions.”
The areas of representation that the PRS are seeking experts from are Holiday lets; House purchasers; Inventories; Landlords; Leaseholders; Property Education; Property Sourcing; Rent-to-rent; Residential Leasehold Management professional; and Tenants, as well as lettings and sales professionals.
Head of Redress Sean Hooker says: “Our intention is to invigorate and to democratise the private rental sector through the active participation of sector experts. Traditionally, advisory boards are made up of individuals with big names, often justifiably so.
“However, our new approach to attracting Advisory Panel members is to focus on a much broader and more diverse membership whereby we will select based upon genuine knowledge, experience and likely contribution to innovating and improving property redress, regardless of public profile”.
It is anticipated that the Property Redress Scheme Advisory Panel will convene twice annually, once in person and once virtually. Applicants are invited to apply both as individuals or as nominees of a relevant sector organisation.
The Advisory Panel terms of reference can be accessed here.
Interested parties can apply themselves or nominate a third party for Advisory Panel membership here.
Applications close on August 31.