Make Sure Your Letting Agent Is Regulated By A Redress Scheme

Letting Agent Checklist

Dealing with rogue letting agents can be one of the most frustrating and infuriating aspects of being a Landlord (or tenant), and when they fail to do their job properly, it’s not always clear who we can complain to, or even if we have a right to complain.

For a very long time there was very little legislation or governing body keeping control of rogue agents, so it meant consumers had very little protection. Unbelievably, it’s only relatively recently that laws have been put into place to help with genuine consumer protection in the property industry.

Since 1st October 2014, all letting agents and managing agents have been legally required to be a member of one of three government-approved letting agency redress schemes, which enables consumers to pursue an independent complaint and prosecution procedure!

Essentially, now that letting agents are legally required to be a member of a redress scheme, it means the following:

  1. Agents are required to abide by a certain code of conduct, meaning better service is achieved (in theory, anyways).
  2. If a letting agent provides poor or inadequate service, you can lodge a complaint with the relevant redress scheme, and they will then investigate the matter. There are no fees associated to anyone that lodges a complaint, whether it be landlord or tenant. It’s absolutely free.
  3. Agents that fail to register to a scheme or are found to have breached code of conduct, could face penalties.

Government-approved letting agency redress schemes (required)

ALL letting agents must be a member of at least one of the following schemes…

Provides a free, fair and independent service for dealing with unresolved disputes between sales and letting agents who have joined the TPO and consumers who are actual or potential buyers or sellers or landlords or tenants of residential property in the UK. The TPO is one of the schemes approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Visit Website
The main purposes of the Property Redress Scheme is to allow Agents to comply with their legal requirement to be a member of a government authorised consumer redress scheme and to settle or resolve complaints made by consumers against their Members. Visit Website
They are Ombudsman Services, an ombudsman service that provides dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing industries.

Update: on 6th February 2018, Ombudsman Service withdrew from handling complaints in the property sector. They will continue to provide a service for existing members, but they will eventually get phased out.

Visit Website

Client Money Protection schemes (required in England & Wales)

Letting agents and property management agents in the private rented sector are also required to join a ‘client money protection schemeif they hold clients’ money.

For example, if you’re a landlord and you use a letting agent to collect rent from your tenant, your agent must be a member of one of the schemes, because they ensure landlords and tenants are compensated if the agent cannot repay the money, for example if they go into administration.

All letting and management agents must join any of the following government approved schemes:

Other letting agency redress schemes (optional)

Below are other redness schemes that letting agents may be a member of, but they are not government approved and agents are not legally required to be a member of any of them:

NALS registered agents are required to follow strict guidelines, have Client money protection insurance, Professional indemnity insurance and mandatory membership with the Ombudsman for Lettings. NALS is a government approved scheme. Visit Website
A professional membership and regulatory body for letting agents and letting agencies in the UK. Any letting agency that is a member will have staff that will be trained to the ARLA codes of practice and one or all the staff will have taken a written exam to qualify to use the ARLA logo. The agent will follow their codes of practise; have Client money protection & Professional indemnity insurance. Visit Website

Which Scheme is my Letting Agent a member of?

Most agents will clearly display which approved scheme they are members of, whether it be on their website and/or shop window. Alternatively, you can ask the agent directly.

It’s also worth noting that some letting agents have been known to display badges while not actually being active members. Don’t suppose this ill-practise surprises anyone? This could constitute as false advertising, but if you have doubts about the legitimacy of any agent’s memberships, you can contact the schemes directly to get clarification of valid membership.

What if your letting agent isn’t registered with a government-approved redress scheme?

Letting agents are legally required to be a member of at least one of three approved schemes! Failing to comply could lead to prosecution.

If you are using a letting agent that isn’t a member, you can contact your local council, who can then investigate and prosecute any agents that are failing to comply with their legal obligations. A local council can issue a fixed penalty fine of up to £5,000 per branch.

20 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
F 8th July, 2009 @ 11:46

The top part is definately below the belt with your choice of words. Which does take me away from the article.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 8th July, 2009 @ 13:01

Sorry, I guess that's just my writing style, morbid and graphic =/

Guest Avatar
Jools 8th July, 2009 @ 13:24


Bye Bye then!


Keep up the good work!!


Guest Avatar
Fee 8th July, 2009 @ 15:30

Harsh words Jools.

It was me, Fee I just couldnt be bothered typing my name. It wasnt a dig I just think its a property theres not much need... and I know if I dont like it then blah blah dont read it and all that.
But what you put is actually really interesting...
Anyways yeh...made my point now.


Guest Avatar
Jools 8th July, 2009 @ 15:33

Sorry Fee - did not mean to offend!


The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 8th July, 2009 @ 15:44

FEEEEEE! I knew it was you!

It's a "property blog", not a "property site" per'se- there's a difference. If you want clean polished articles, you should read Rightmove's blog or something. You won't learn as much cool shit, but it will be lighter on the eyes hah! I like to keep things raw because it's more real.

Anyways, i'm just saying, this blog is based on my experiences/feelings! Actually, it's based on everyone's experiences/feelings, and I don't want people to hold back, just as I don't.

Guest Avatar
Fee 8th July, 2009 @ 15:57

Yup I do see your point, anyways its no big deal.

Guest Avatar
Adam H 24th November, 2010 @ 16:17

"That’s why it’s imperative that you, as a Landlord or tenant, use a letting agent"
Is this cost effective for letting agents, as in.. Is it better to provide a good service?
or pay TPO so you can have a banner saying you do?

The article written does not outline benefits of TPO or how it protects the Landlord.
TPO website simply outlines the basics of a letting agent. It seems not to go into specifics and "The agent must give you written Terms of Business" no outline of the framework of terms.

TPO seems to be ensuring landlords provide fine print, im sure and hope landlords would do that already.

Adam H

Guest Avatar
Kathleen 13th February, 2014 @ 12:46

RICS is the highest regulatory body for letting agents
Why no mention??

Guest Avatar
Liz 5th February, 2016 @ 13:31

I was using an agent to rent my property out. I asked the tenants to leave after 6 Months, they left a real mess, My agent refused to give me back any of their bond. Is there anything I can do

Guest Avatar
gary lisle 21st February, 2016 @ 18:58

I'm renting a property which is my bosses through an estate agents.ive complained twice to the agents about severe damp to all exterior walls and they ve not done anything nevermind been around,we have two dehumidifiers running allday and twenty others dotted around the house,the twenty being plastic containers designed to take away some moisture,we demould the walls twice a week which becomes black and furry,I've 4 children in the house 2 with autism and one disabled,I've never missed my rent and have worked for my boss for nearly 14 years,I don't want a catch 22 situation,what do I do?

Guest Avatar
Jan 31st May, 2016 @ 07:57

I am purchasing a property that is currently a rental. The existing tenant wants to remain which I'm happy about. The estate agent will manage the rental for 10 per cent. However, is this a reasonable figure and do I have to pay a tenant find fee if they are already in situ. Any advice would be welcome.

Guest Avatar
Tamara 6th May, 2017 @ 15:27

Probably condensation Check vents in upvc windows have not been closed. Open windows every day to let damp air out etc

Guest Avatar
susan 9th January, 2018 @ 05:10

ive rented a shorthold tenancy which I really regret,i want out but the agencys threatened to take my guarantor to court if I leave the property sooner, iv offered a lump sum to them each month till my agreements up and there not having none of it, to leave they want me to pay the next 4 months in full,im on benefits and in very poor health and I have an 8yr old, the day after I moved in the full frame of an upstairs window fell crashing below my back door ,it could have killed someone turns out the whole house needed new windows 6 in total so 8 to 9 weeks we have had to live in a freezing cold house and its cost a fortune in gas and electric,a week after I moved in, my daughter viewed a property and I got talking to her letting agent about my tenancy and I mentioned the window fell out and she replied with, quote...I done survey on that property and I told them it needed all new windows.unquote.can u tell me what to do I really want out,ty

Guest Avatar
manuela 9th February, 2018 @ 14:21

My goodness,

thanks so much for this article. I dont give a shit about those people making harsh comments about the way you write, they never been through shit with state agent. we are going through a hell with a very well known state agent in Uk.BM, its the acronym. we moved in the end of January and my husband didnt put my name on the contract, he paid for the contract 210 + reference check 240 for check and now a month after paying all this My husband decide to put my name on the contract.the state agent BM charged 450 pounds just to put my name on the contract ,nothing changed, just adding my name and pritting it for us and the landlord to sign? Can you believe it?450 pounds! and they want to check me again, a month later!more 120 pounds!ubeliavable. and other problems that we had with of the reasons i want to leave this country!just very rich people can really have a life here.

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Marianne 10th February, 2019 @ 14:07

Hi does anybody know is there a list of registered letting agents and employees are can’t find it anywhere if there is thank you.

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Eileen Barton 8th May, 2019 @ 18:54

This website was very helpful..I have had enough of paying off someones home loan whilst they live in Texas and having to deal with MAC lettings in Brandon who think it's ok for me to live in a bungalow that needs for over 6 years..I am disabled so perhaps that is why I have been treated so badly but now I know where to complain to make their lives less happy go lucky..thanks

Guest Avatar
Dom Hamilton 19th July, 2020 @ 00:35

Just checked and my lettings agent isn't registered with any of the redress schemes. How do I report them? They're putting us through hell and I have a feeling they're not a real lettings company!

Guest Avatar
Dom Howe 8th September, 2020 @ 16:43

I had always found my own tenants previously. Was time poor, so used a local letting agent. Big mistake. Spent more time checking and correcting their paper work & discovered that they registered the tenants deposit in their name. what a nightmare. never again.

Guest Avatar
BOB 17th September, 2020 @ 14:19

have complained several times to the estate agent for the house next door who are romanians subletting but they say as the tennant is there every inspection they carnt do nothing even thou the comes back just for this there has been 3 different familys in there in the last year and they do not want to do anythinfg about it why should i move from my property because of these

















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