Letting agent welcomes plan for new rental complaints system

Plans to introduce a new rental complaints system to help support private tenants who are forced to live in shoddy housing and squalid conditions have been welcomed by a leading letting agent.

In the private rented sector, there is currently no obligation for landlords to register with a complaints system, and that is simply wrong, according to Paul Sloan, operations director at Spicerhaart Lettings.

Consequently, Sloan has welcomed the proposals unveiled last month by the housing secretary, Sajid Javid, that aims to create a simple and effective complaints system that enables disputes to be resolved faster and consumers to access compensation where applicable.

An eight-week consultation on a new scheme to crack down on rogue landlords renting out overcrowded and dangerous homes is currently underway.

Sloan commented: “Agents must be members of an independent redress scheme, so it’s only right that landlords that don’t use agents should have to sign up to a redress scheme too.  I have argued for some time that it’s not right that tenants who rent through a professional agent get one level of service, while those who rent directly from a landlord experience an inferior one. Although, I appreciate that there are a large number of excellent landlords that look after their tenants extremely well.

“The government has promised to make client money protection mandatory for agents, and those of us that have been supporters of SAFEagent will be delighted when that happens. But again, there needs to be a level playing field. Why should a tenant’s money not be protected if they rent directly from a landlord? The same rules must apply.

“A single ombudsman can work and will help with consistency of adjudication, but it must be properly resourced.

“However, having said that, we should be careful about the blame game. Some tenants complain about landlords that are behaving perfectly reasonably, and this fascination for naming and shaming is dangerous.

“The criteria for calling landlords, agents and housebuilders’ ‘rogue’ needs to be very carefully thought through and entirely objective otherwise it could be very damaging.”

  • Andrew McCausland

    It is a good idea and probably overdue.
    Hopefully the new Housing Minister will roll this in with an overhaul of the Courts system to allow landlords to more easily and cheaply evict bad tenants. I support any action against rogue landlords. I would also like to see some action against rogue tenants at the same time. Any additional costs inflicted on landlords by bad tenants has the unfortunate effect of raising costs for all tenants, as landlords seek to cover their costs in an increasingly difficult market.

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    always pursue any debt and push to ccj--this acts as rogue tenant database, plus of course notify the tenant reference agencies

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    We all know it won't just be used by tenants living in shoddy conditions.

    Talk about Turkey's voting for Christmas!

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    Sloan is being as irresponsible as our shallow politicians in implying that more than a very small proportion of landlords are "rogue". The lack of a requirement for agents to be professionally qualified should be brought into the limelight as professional bodies, such as RICS, already have proper procedures which their members are required to follow.


    rics is useless--its just a club for midland bankers--prince charles has the right opinion of rics

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    Would make a refreshing change for this court to offer some swifter paths to possession and compensation for landlords against bad tenants.. although that’s not ‘landlord bashing’ so unlikely !

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    there are bad landlords out there, and there are a thousand times more bad tenants out there, as our friend terry sullivan says above always push for a ccj against none paying tenants, it's only £60 online (tax deductable) and worth every penny, even though you cannot get blood out of a stone.


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