Q. I am a letting agent. I have been told that I can be fined up to £5,000 if I do not belong to an Ombudsman scheme - is that correct?
A. Not at the moment, but under regulations about to become law, all letting agents and property managers will need to belong to one of three government authorised property redress or Ombudsman schemes.
The three schemes that have been authorised by the government are:
- The Property Ombudsman http://www.tpos.co.uk/
- The Ombudsman Services (Property) http://www.ombudsman-services.org/property.html and
- The Property Redress Scheme http://www.theprs.co.uk/
These services will be somewhere that customers can complain to. At the moment membership is voluntary. However, it is expected that the regulations making it a mandatory requirement will come into force either in October 2014 or April 2015. It is then that agents/property managers who are not compliant will ultimately be vulnerable to a fine of £5,000. Agents may want to consider joining up now so as to be compliant well in advance of the regulations coming into force.
Q. I want to sell my rented property. It is tenanted and I will be selling it on with the tenant in situ as an investment property. The vendor wants to view the property but my tenants are refusing to allow access. Can he do this?