Redress Scheme Membership during Coronavirus

Advice from National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT)

Mandatory Redress Requirements

There are three categories of mandatory redress requirement:

  1. Estate agency work – essentially the introduction by an agent of a buyer to a seller (or vice versa) and the work done to secure the disposal or acquisition of the land in question.
  2. Letting agency work – the introduction by an agent of a tenant to a property, or the introduction by an agent of a landlord to a tenant
  3. Property management work – an agent acting on behalf of a landlord to manage a property being let to a tenant

There are various exemptions to the above, but this is principally the case in most situations. Agents need to be registered for the relevant discipline(s). Registration for redress is a legal requirement and businesses must maintain their membership if they are engaging in any of the above work.

Coronavirus

The Coronavirus restrictions have led to a number of estate and letting agency businesses closing their customer-facing offices and furloughing some of their employees. Some agencies have suspended all new sales and lettings work; others are continuing to facilitate critical moves or dealing with vacated property. The government has issued guidance in relation to home moving and renting during the period of restriction.

Business closures/suspensions

  1. If a business stops trading – i.e. winds up a company or closes the business, they will no longer need to be a member of a redress scheme.
  2. If a business suspends operations, but has customers on its books (i.e. instructed sales, tenants/buyers looking for properties), or is marketing properties (on its website, or on portals), or is collecting rent from tenants, or managing property on behalf of a landlord, then they will need to maintain their membership of a redress scheme.

Redress schemes are required to report all instances of a failure to renew redress membership by an agent to NTSELAT in a timely manner.

Help For Consumers

UK Government - Support for Tenants, Landlords, Buyers and Sellers

Rent Smart Wales – Support for Tenants

Shelter

Citizens Advice – Coronavirus

 Property Checklists