Letting agents and property managers in Hertsmere are being reminded they need to register with one of three government approved schemes or risk being fined up to £5,000.
The aim of the schemes is to provide private sector landlords and tenants with a straightforward route to complain about their agents if they feel they are not being treated fairly.
Complaints should be addressed quickly and effectively and there is also a chance of receiving compensation.
The three schemes include The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services, Property Redress Scheme.
The regulations apply to agents who respond to requests from landlords to find a tenant to rent property and agents who find property to rent for tenants.
Property managers who arrange services, repairs, maintenance, improvement or insurance, or manage the premises, are also required to register.
There are some exemptions, including land registered as common hold land, student accommodation, council housing and registered social housing.
Councillor Jean Heywood, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “The majority of lettings agents and property managers provide a good service, but there is a minority who offer a poor service. These schemes help to weed out bad agents and drive up standards.
“By being able to complain to an independent person about the service they have received, tenants and landlords can have their concerns addressed quickly and effectively.
“The requirement to register is enforced by us here at the council and we can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where an agent or property manager who should have joined a scheme has not done so.”
For more information about the redress schemes, visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/2359/contents/made or here.
To find out about the three schemes, visit www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/property, www.theprs.co.uk, www.tpos.co.uk.
Posted on Thursday 12th April 2018