April 25, 2024 1:08 pm

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Nikka Sulton

Propertymark’s latest guide outlines the rights of private rental tenants, detailing procedures for contesting rent hikes deemed excessive and avenues for lodging complaints.

Under the “Challenge High Rent Increases” section, tenants are empowered to contest unfair raises, with procedures varying by location within the UK. Landlords are obliged to adhere to specific regulations to prevent unjustifiable rent escalations.

  • Landlords are required to notify tenants before raising rent.
  • Rent increases must be reasonable and in line with local rental norms.
  • Tenants should receive a minimum of six months’ notice, or one month for periodic tenancies.

“If you believe the rent increase is unjust, initiating dialogue with your landlord or managing agent is the initial step towards resolution. If consensus cannot be reached, seeking intervention from a tribunal is an option. Refer to the Citizens Advice website for further guidance.”

Under the “How To Complain” section, Propertymark advises tenants to directly address concerns with the agent or landlord regarding service quality or property condition. This approach allows for prompt rectification of issues.

All agencies are legally obligated to furnish a complaints procedure; if unavailable online, tenants are encouraged to request a copy directly from the agency. This ensures transparency and facilitates the resolution process for any grievances tenants may have.

“It’s best to put your complaint in writing and you should receive a response within 15 days. Keep copies of any correspondence and ask them to confirm:

Consider the following when addressing your complaint:

  • Identify the individual responsible for managing your complaint.
  • Understand the proposed resolution steps they intend to take.
  • Obtain an estimate of the timeframe required to resolve the issue.

All property agents are legally required to be affiliated with a government-approved independent redress scheme. These schemes, such as The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or Property Redress Scheme (PRS), play a crucial role in ensuring accountability within the industry. You can easily identify an agent’s affiliation by checking their website. This affiliation serves as a vital safeguard for tenants and landlords alike, offering recourse in case of disputes or grievances.

When a complaint arises and remains unresolved by the agent despite a reasonable timeframe for resolution, it’s time to involve the redress scheme. This step is pivotal in seeking resolution and ensuring that the agent takes appropriate action to address the issue. Redress schemes possess the authority to investigate complaints thoroughly and mandate corrective measures. Furthermore, if the scheme finds merit in your complaint, they have the power to enforce compensation, providing a measure of justice and restitution for aggrieved parties.

Navigating the process of lodging a complaint with a redress scheme involves clarity and transparency. Understanding the procedure and knowing what to expect can empower individuals in seeking resolution effectively. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the specific guidelines outlined by the redress scheme of your agent’s affiliation. By adhering to these guidelines and providing comprehensive details about the complaint, you enhance the likelihood of a swift and satisfactory resolution.

If you’re still unsatisfied with the resolution provided by both the agent and the independent redress scheme, and if the agent is a member of Propertymark, you have the option to escalate your complaint to us. At Propertymark, we take breaches of conduct and membership rules seriously. Our commitment includes investigating complaints against our members thoroughly, provided there is evidence of misconduct. Here are some of the key areas covered by our investigation process:

  • Misrepresentation of property details.
  • Failure to disclose material information.
  • Breach of confidentiality.
  • Failure to comply with legal obligations.
  • Breach of trust.
  • Failure to manage conflicts of interest appropriately.
  • Failure to handle client money correctly.
  • Non-compliance with the Code of Practice for Residential Letting Agents or Estate Agents.

Our objective is to ensure that our members uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. By addressing complaints effectively and holding our members accountable for their actions, we strive to maintain trust and confidence within the property industry. If you believe that your complaint falls within these parameters and requires our intervention, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

The guide comprehensively covers various aspects of renting, providing information on tenancies, ensuring properties meet safety standards, electrical safety, the right to quiet enjoyment, upcoming changes in legislation, and the importance of using a Propertymark agent. Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, emphasizes the significance of tenants understanding their rights in the rental process, whether dealing directly with landlords or through letting agents. Regardless of the communication channel, tenants are protected by legislation from substandard accommodations or unscrupulous practices.

Emerson encourages tenants to choose a Propertymark Protected agent for their next rental, ensuring compliance with regulations and prioritizing safety and security. By opting for a Propertymark agent, tenants can have confidence that the property they rent adheres to legal standards and offers a secure living environment. This guidance underscores the commitment of Propertymark to safeguarding the interests of tenants and promoting transparency and accountability within the rental sector.



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