The Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc) (England) Order 2014 has made it a legal requirement for all lettings agents and property managers to join a Government approved redress scheme by 1 October 2014 and placed a statutory duty on the Council to enforce the requirement.
The Order prescribes a statutory process for the enforcement of the above requirement. This includes the power to impose a fine of up to £5000 where the Council is satisfied that someone is engaged in letting or property management work and is therefore required to be a member of a redress scheme but has failed to join.
For the purposes of the Order, lettings agency work is defined as things done by any person in the course of a business in response to instructions from either a private rented sector landlord who wants to find a tenant, or a tenant who wants to find a property in the private rented sector.
Property management work is categorised as things done by a person in the course of a business in response to instructions from another person who wants to arrange services, repairs, maintenance, improvements, insurance, or to deal with any other aspect of the management of premises consisting of, or containing, a dwelling-house let under either a long lease, an assured tenancy or a protected tenancy.
The three approved schemes are:
At its meeting on the 10 February 2015 the Council’s Executive agreed that should the Council find any company operating as lettings agents or property managers in the Bradford District without being members of one of the three government approved schemes it would result in Council imposing a £5000 fine. However, we will reduce the fine level to £391.10 if an agent can show that they have joined a redress scheme within the 28 day notice period, because the Council prefers to work with owners, landlords and property managers to address issues wherever possible. The sum of £391.10 is the average cost to the Council of enforcing these powers.