UK’s new property redress scheme exceeds membership expectations

Taylor Scott International News

The Association of Residential Letting Agents has confirmed that the UK’s new Property Redress Scheme membership meets its membership requirements, as members join daily. The announcement follows compulsory legislation which means that since the beginning of October letting agents must be part of a government authorised redress scheme in order to operate. The redress scheme means that Tenants have a straightforward route to take action should they get a poor deal, while avoiding excessive red tape. ARLA membership guidelines state that all ARLA Licenced agents, or those agents wishing to become ARLA Licensed, must belong to an independent redress scheme in order to be a member. The PRS is one of three authorised redress schemes under the Department for Communities and Local Government, whose role it is to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between members of the public and property agents. ‘We’re very pleased to have approved the PRS to cover our consumer redress requirements for ARLA Licensed status. We have already received enquiries regarding membership from PRS members,’ said ARLA managing director David Cox. ‘ARLA Licenced agents are provided with the support and advice needed to help them carry out best practice. ARLA agents benefit from client money protection and the assistance that a trade body can offer,’ he added. Sean Hooker, head of redress for the PRS, welcomed the announcement and revealed that the PRS has now seen over 2,000 members sign up to the scheme with new members joining daily. He believes that the decision to do things differently has been a huge supporting factor in the scheme’s success so far. ‘We offer two different membership options so our scheme is both affordable and flexible whilst covering the needs of different types of Agents,’ he explained. ‘Giving Agents the opportunity to decide which model is best suited to them is something that sets us apart from the other two schemes and has contributed greatly to us reaching the 2,000 member target in such a short space of time,’ he added. Tim Frome, managing director of the PRS, said that this surge in membership has really exceeded expectations. ‘Estimates suggested there were 3,000 to 4,000 letting agents who would need to join a redress scheme. To achieve a membership of 2,000 in such a short time suggests that the majority of these agents have chosen to join the PRS or the number of prospective members was underestimated,’ he pointed out. Of the 2,000 members, 78 % of these have selected the Entry Model which is a pay as you go structure where the agent pays a smaller application fee of £95 plus VAT and then pays per complaint should the PRS receive it. The remaining members have opted for an all-inclusive Enhanced model that covers both their application and their complaints (subject to a fair usage policy) and costs £199 plus VAT. So far, over 97% of members have joined as a property agent with nearly 3% joining the scheme on… Continue reading →

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