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Surprise move as agents issue ‘how to complain’ guide to tenants

A new guide from Propertymark explains the rights which private rental tenants have - and sets out how they can challenge “high” rent increases, and complain if they are unhappy. 

In the section marked “Challenge High Rent Increases” the trade body says:  “You have the right to challenge rent increases that you feel are unfair, the process is slightly different depending on where in the UK you live. To prevent unfair rent increases, landlords must abide by the following rules:

- They must notify you before they increase the rent;


- The rent increase must be fair (i.e. on a similar level to average rents locally);

- They must give you at least six months’ notice or one month if you are on a periodic tenancy

“If you feel the rent increase is unfair, you should first speak to your landlord or managing agent and try to come to an agreement. If you cannot agree, you can ask a tribunal to decide for you. Visit the Citizens Advice website for more information.”

And in a section called How To Complain, the Propertymark guide reads:

When tenants feel as though the conduct and service of an agent/ the condition of a property is not up to scratch, they should first, as with any complaint, contact them directly about the problem.

“This gives the agent a chance to put the situation right and is the fastest route to getting your complaint solved. All agencies must provide a complaints procedure for their business by law, ask them for a copy directly if you cannot find it on their website.

“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:

- Who is handling your complaint

- What they propose to do to resolve it

- How long it will take to resolve

“It is a legal requirement for property agents to belong to a Government-approved independent redress scheme.

“There are two schemes to look out for: The Property Ombudsman (TPO) and Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and most agents display which one they belong to on their website.

“If your complaint has not been resolved by the agent, having been given a reasonable time to do so, then you should contact the redress scheme. Redress schemes have the authority to ensure that the agent takes action to remedy any problem arising from a complaint. If the redress scheme supports your complaint, they can also impose that the agent grants you compensation.

“If neither the agent nor the independent redress scheme has provided a satisfactory outcome to your complaint then, provided the agent is one of our Propertymark members, you can send your complaint to us.

“We will investigate complaints against our members where there is evidence that the agent has breached our conduct and membership rules, this includes:

- Misuse of client money;

- Failure to uphold high standards of ethical and professional practice;

- Failure to protect and promote clients’ interests;

- Conflicts of interest;

- Failure to answer correspondence;

- Any act of dishonesty or conviction of a criminal offence.”

Other sections of the guide include Tenancy Information, Safe Property that Meet A Safe Standard; Electrical Safety; Quiet Enjoyment; Further Changes; and Are You Using A Propertymark Agent?

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, comments: “It’s crucial that tenants understand their rights when renting a privately rented property from a landlord whether that be through the landlord themselves or via a letting agent. Regardless of who you’re in communication with as a tenant, the same rules apply and all legislation in place protects you from poor-quality homes or rogue operations.

“We urge tenants to use a Propertymark Protected agent when renting their next home to ensure the property they live in will abide by legislation and keep them safe and secure.”


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  • icon

    We had this article the other day. Propertymark twinned with Shelter and no use to any agent or landlord.😡

  • Richard LeFrak

    Professional Training company, bit like the NRLA and local councils,


  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    I think the LA forget who pays their salaries, or have I missed something? Perhaps they now work for and are paid by the Tenants ??
    No wonder l self manage.

  • icon

    Or maybe they've remembered that ultimately it's the rent that pays their salaries?


    If they need reminding of that, they would not be my agent.

  • icon

    Last time I had a vacant property I did about 20 viewings, most said I was the first actual landlord they had met, and that they prefer to deal direct with the landlord. Several mentioned that repairs never get done with an agent. Interesting.


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