Lettings agents in Charnwood are being urged to ensure they are aware of their legal responsibilities after a business was fined by the borough council.
All lettings agents and property managers are required by law to be part of a government-approved redress scheme which helps resolve disputes between tenants and landlords.
Charnwood Borough Council discovered one letting agent in the borough was not part of a redress scheme in August. The offence carries a maximum fine of £5,000.
The company had been part of a scheme which had closed but it had failed to join another one.
However, after being contacted by the Council, the company signed up to a redress scheme. The Council fined the company £673 to reflect the seven-week period that it was not part of a scheme.
Redress schemes give tenants and landlords independent adjudication of disputes. The Council monitors lettings agents and property managers to ensure that they are registered with a redress scheme.
Cllr Margaret Smidowicz, the Council’s lead member for regulatory services, enforcement and licensing, said: “I hope this serves as a reminder to lettings agents and property managers that they have a legal duty to be part of a redress scheme and we will not hesitate to issue fines if they are not.
“Being part of a scheme is cheaper than paying a fine and ultimately the schemes are there to help tenants and landlords in the private sector housing market.”
If you are concerned that your letting agent or property manager does not belong to an approved redress scheme, you should contact the private housing team on 01509 634651 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.