Yes, I have a degree in art. And no, I don’t want to talk about it.
Are you dealing with a shitty letting agent? Do you feel they have provided you with a poor service? Are they doing absolutely sweet-nothing? Strangling the greaseballs may seem like the most tempting option, but unfortunately, there are procedures…
Option 1: Make a complaint to the Letting Agent
You should always register your complaint with the letting agent first. Make a clear and precise report, explaining exactly what the problem is.
Most reputable letting agents will try to resolve the problem in-house. They will have a set procedure in place which should be handled by senior management.
Option 2: Complain to a redness scheme
If you feel your complaint hasn’t been dealt with appropriately by your letting agent, you can take your complaint to a redness scheme they are a member of.
From 1 October 2014, all letting agents have been required to be a member of one of three government-approved letting agency redress schemes! If your agent ISN’T a member of at least one, they are NOT complying with the law and could face persecution (contact your local council for further information).
For more information, go to the Letting Agents Approved Redress Schemes page.
Option 3: Speak to Citizens Advice
For free legal advice and to find out where you stand, you can talk to your local Citizens Advice Bureau and they should be able to advice you on the best course of action to take.
Option 4: False advertising
If you think your agent has broken advertising rules (i.e. false advertising), you can lodge a complaint to The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)– they are the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media.
Finally, change your letting agent!
Depending on the severity of your agent’s incompetence, you may have the urge to jump ship and pass your custom onto a deserving alternative.
Changing letting agents isn’t as complicated as it may sound, and while you maybe tied into a contract, there are ways around it, especially if your letting agent has failed to provide you with an adequate service.
I’ve already written an in-depth guide on how you can either change or sack your agent, so I won’t regurgitate the details. But please, take the trip over to that article if you’re in contemplation!
- The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations – here’s a guide that covers consumer protection law which letting agents (and all other professionals involved in the lettings market) are legally obligated to comply with. It’s worth reading through if you believe your agent has breached their obligation(s).
Anyone complained about a letting agent before?
Out of curiosity, has anyone successfully or unsuccessfully made a complaint about a letting agent? If so, what approach did you take and what happened?
Quick update (16th July 2017)
Originally The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was a point of contact on this list, and they were probably the most well-known. They were responsible for protecting consumer interests throughout the UK. However, unfortunately the OFT has now closed, and it’s responsibilities have been passed to a number of different organisations. For more information, you can visit the corpse of the OFT website.
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger, I am not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any advice I give is my opinion based on my experience, and is never legal or professional advice. You should always get professional advice on any legal and financial matters!