Letting agent redress schemes


If you are renting private accommodation from a letting agent and they have failed to resolve a complaint that you have raised, you can take your complaint to an independent letting agent redress scheme. 


Letting agent redress schemes provide a free, independent service for resolving disputes between letting agents and their tenants. All letting agents legally have to be a member of one of two redress schemes. Both tenants and landlords can use the scheme to resolve disputes and the end decision made by the scheme is legally binding for all involved.


Contact us if you are having problems with your letting agent.



How to check which redress scheme your agent belongs to


You can try asking your letting agent which scheme they belong to or check their website. Some letting agents may display stickers on their windows detailing the scheme.

There are two government-approved letting agent redress schemes:

To find out if a letting agent is a member of their scheme, you can search the redress scheme's membership list. You may have to search both.


It's a criminal offence for a letting agent not to be a member of a redress scheme. A local council can issue a fixed penalty fine of up to £5000 to a letting agency branch that is not a member of a scheme. Letting agents with multiple branches could face multiple fines.

Contact your local council if an agent isn't registered with a scheme. It can investigate and prosecute agencies who haven't signed up to a scheme.




What complaints can they help with?


You can complain to a letting agent redress scheme about:

  • lack of transparency about fees for tenants

  • inaccurate property descriptions

  • disputes about holding deposits taken to reserve a property

  • inaccurate charging

  • not passing rent onto the landlord

  • slow or poor service


You can also complain if a letting agent breaches the redress scheme's code of conduct or doesn't have an in-house complaints procedure.


The schemes won't cover complaints about the amount of fees charged or if they are reasonable, tenancy deposits or issues which are the landlord's responsibility.



When to complain


If a letting agent doesn't resolve your complaint within 8 weeks, you'll be able to complain to their redress scheme. If your letting agent gives a final response to the dispute within 8 weeks, you can complain to their redress scheme after you receive their decision.

You may prefer to complain after you have left.

You must complain within the time limit set by the redress scheme. Letting agents must cooperate with any investigation and agree to pay compensation promptly if the redress scheme awards it.

The letting agency has to comply with any orders to pay you compensation, to pay a fine or to put something right. Tell the scheme if the letting agent doesn't comply.


Source: Shelter 2015