Landlord Redress Pilot Terms
What is Landlord and Tenant Redress?
Redress is a means of remedying a situation when things go wrong.
Between a landlord and a tenant, this might involve finding solutions to issues surrounding poor communication, a repair complaint, or a disagreement about a tenancy related matter.
It is an alternative to using the Courts, if a solution cannot readily be found by the two parties alone.
The redress scheme will be administered by two leading resolution specialists selected by NRLA for their expertise and experience in handling disputes related to the private rented sector.
The Property Redress Service.
The Property Redress Service (PRS) was established in 2014 and is a government authorised consumer redress scheme set up specifically to resolve property related complaints.
PRS is part of Hamilton Fraser who are an organisation with over 25 years’ experience of dispute resolution and claims in the property industry.
PRS is authorised by:
- the Department for Levelling up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) to offer redress for consumers and agents doing lettings and property management work.
- the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team to offer redress to consumers of agents doing sales work; and
- the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to offer redress generally to the property sector under the Alternative Disputes Resolution Regulations 2015
For more information about the PRS please visit: www.thePRS.co.uk
Tenancy Redress Service
The Tenancy Redress Service (TRS) is operated by the Dispute Service, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, which exists to offer tenancy deposit protection, dispute resolution, and redress.
It operates the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, SafeDeposits Scotland, and TDS Northern Ireland as tenancy deposit schemes, all of which operate under government contracts.
The Dispute Service also operates TDS Resolution, a landlord-tenant conciliation and mediation service and from April 2022 the Dispute Service will operate the New Homes Ombudsman Service.
The Dispute Service is authorised by:
- DLUHC and the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland to offer tenancy deposit protection and dispute resolution services for landlords, agents, and tenants.
- the Chartered Trading Standards Institute as an approved provider of alternative dispute resolution.
The Dispute Service is a complaint handler member of the Ombudsman Association, has accreditation with the British Standards Institute (ISO 10002) for complaint handling, and holds the Government Customer Service Excellence Award.
For more information about the Tenancy Redress Service please visit: www.tenancyredress.com
Complaints the Scheme Can Resolve
The schemes can resolve complaints related to the NRLA code of conduct which covers the following four areas:
1. Marketing a property
- All advertising and marketing material must be clear, legal and truthful
- Advertising material must not aim to mislead, give a false impression or misdirect
- Wherever possible, advertising materials should include reference to NRLA membership
2. Creating a tenancy
- Tenants to be provided with a written statement of the tenancy terms
- Where possible, terms should be provided far enough in advance of the proposed contract start date, to allow prospective tenants to get any relevant advice
- Reasonable efforts must be made to help prospective tenants understand the terms of their tenancy
3. Maintaining a tenancy
- Tenants should be shown respect
- Data / ‘GDPR’ requirements must be complied with
- Provide all communication promptly
- Provide all relevant contact details
- Attend to all reported issues of disrepair without unreasonable delay
- Take all reasonable steps to make sure that residential property remains fit for human habitation for the length of any tenancy
4. Ending a tenancy
- There must be no harassment or actions that could constitute illegal eviction of tenants
- The correct legal procedure must be used to end a tenancy, including correctly communicating the reasons for ending the tenancy
- A tenant must not be refused a reference when looking to secure a new tenancy, without good cause
How will the redress scheme deal with repair issues?
The redress scheme will allow a tenant to report a repair request to us after they have previously reported it to their landlord and waited a reasonable period of time for a response or action.
- This repair request will then be sent to the landlord by us, so the landlord is aware the tenant are unhappy with the action taken to date.
- If the landlord does not complete the repair to a suitable standard the tenant will have an audit trail that the report was requested formally and in good time. The scheme will signpost the tenant to either the local authority or recommend that they take legal advice if the repair issue does not get resolved directly.
How will the redress scheme deal with complaints when the landlord has used an agent?
Agents are required by law to be a member of an authorised redress scheme, either the PRS or the Property Ombudsman.
If the complaint is about the direct actions or behaviour of the agent, then the tenant should raise their complaint with the redress scheme of which the agent is a member.
If the agent has stated that the issue has been caused by the landlord’s action (on inaction) then the complaint can be raised against the landlord and the landlord redress scheme will investigate the most appropriate way to resolve it.
How Compaints Are Dealt With by the Landlord Redress Scheme
What should a tenant do before raising a complaint with the scheme?
A tenant should raise their issue directly with the landlord first and then allow a reasonable period of time for the landlord to respond. This period of time will depend on the seriousness of the issue so instead of providing a specific timeframe the scheme will look at the circumstances to decide if the amount of time waited was reasonable before the tenant raised their complaint.
How does a tenant raise a complaint with the scheme?
The tenant must have been told that the landlord is participating voluntarily in the landlord redress pilot and with which resolution provider. The tenant will be able to use the form on the landlord redress website to raise their complaint with the scheme or request a copy of the complaint form to complete before returning. The tenant can set out the issues and explain what resolution they feel is suitable.
What happens then?
A dispute resolution specialist will check the complaint and contact the tenant to confirm their understanding of the complaint. If the complaint is not something that we can be deal with, through landlord redress, the tenant will be signposted to a suitable alternative. The scheme decision will be final.
If the complaint can be investigated, the next step will be to inform the landlord, who will be asked to either resolve the matter directly within a suitable timescale or provide their reasons why the complaint has no merit or that an alternative resolution would be more suitable.
What involvement will the dispute resolution specialist have if the complaint is accepted?
The resolution specialist will first try to reach a suitable resolution between the parties. Depending on the issues raised, the resolution specialist may need to request evidence from the landlord before providing a written explanation of how the complaint should be resolved or signposting the parties to a more appropriate method for resolving the issues. There is no right of appeal to the decision of the resolution specialist.
What if the complaint is just about repairs?
The tenant’s request will be sent to the landlord to deal with. We are not surveyors and will not visit the property so are reliant on the parties’ raising issues and resolving them in good faith. If the tenant remains unsatisfied then they will be signposted to the local authority or recommended to take legal advice.
What kind of recommendations or awards can be made by the landlord redress scheme?
The resolution specialist will look at the issues in the complaint that require resolution. A recommendation may include an apology, some positive action by the landlord such as providing documents, or a small financial award.
Any award made by the resolution specialist is likely to be in respect of an action that was lawfully required by the landlord and/or a compensatory payment to cover any distress or inconvenience caused to the tenant.
Compliance with Decisions
What happens after the scheme has made a recommendation or decision on a complaint?
The landlord will be given a timescale to comply with our findings. If the tenant informs us that the landlord has not done this, our compliance team will be informed and decide what action to take.
Depending on the circumstances, we may speak to the landlord or escalate the complaint to the NRLA directly.
NRLA role in enforcing decisions
The scheme will check whether a landlord has acted in line with any agreed resolution or decision. If a landlord does not act as expected, a report will be made to the NRLA. The NRLA will then decide whether the landlord’s membership should be withdrawn. While landlord redress is offered on a voluntary basis the landlord will not be covered by the scheme for any subsequent complaints.
What confidentiality matters are relevant?
- We may use any information provided when investigating a complaint, as long as it is relevant
- We will always consider specific requests received, for disclosure
- We will act in line with all General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and all other data protection laws
- We will take all reasonable steps to make sure our staff keep any information we receive confidential during an investigation, whether or not it has been sent (by agreement) to the other party
- When the person making a complaint provides certain personal information, they accept that this gives authority to the member to use this personal information when responding to the complaint
- The parties agree that evidence may need to be provided and using this evidence for the purpose of resolving a complaint does not constitute any data breach or use of data legislation by the Property Redress Service or Tenancy Redress Service
Landlords and tenants agree and accept the following:
The relevant Terms of Reference, Conditions of Complaints and this Guide may be updated from time to time and the parties agree to abide by the latest version of the relevant document.
If there is any conflict between this Guide and the Terms of Reference of Conditions of Complaints this Guide takes preference for landlord redress.
All staff associated with the provision of landlord redress services are to be treated with respect and the decisions on accepting a case and how a case should proceed will not be open to challenge.
Property Redress Service (PRS) Guide
Last updated: 04/03/2022 at 16:44 - 814.79 KB
Tenancy Redress Service Guide
Last updated: 04/03/2022 at 16:42 - 692.00 KB