Estate agent not signed up to redress scheme fined £3,000

By Laura Bright Solicitor

An estate agent has been fined £3,000 for not being a member of all the required redress schemes for the services it covered.

The case arose following a complaint from a tenant who lived in a block of flats managed by the agent.

The local authority discovered the agent was a member of a redress scheme for its letting work but not for property management work.

It issued a £3,000 penalty.

The agent appealed and the First-tier Tribunal referred to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, which didn’t distinguish between different categories of property management work.

It ruled that the estate agent didn’t need to be a member of several schemes in order to cover the various subdivisions of its work.

However, that decision was overturned by the Upper Tribunal, when several more pieces of evidence relating to the agent’s property management services were provided.

The estate agent even acknowledged it should have been a member of the correct redress scheme and had subsequently joined.

The judge said that it was important for agents to be members of the relevant schemes so that anyone with a cause for complaint would have a way to take action.

The tribunal ruled that the local authority’s original fine of £3,000 was appropriate.

If you would like any more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of commercial property law then please contact Laura on 01228 516 666 or email her here.

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