A lettings agent claims to have surveyed tenants and discovered that an amazing 99.5 per cent of them know nothing of any of the three redress schemes which apply across the private rental sector.
The north east-based lettings firm KIS claims almost no tenant is aware of The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property or the Property Redress Scheme, despite a substantial publicity campaign by the government last year ahead of the October 1 deadline after which every letting agent had to be a member of one of the schemes.
KIS founder and chief executive Ajay Jagota says when compulsory redress was launched my biggest fear was that the scheme was about as well known as the winner of The Voice.
But he says his bigger fear now is the near-total absence of policing of the apparently mandatory' redress membership.
It's not hard to find agents who don't seem to be members. We found two apparently unregistered companies with less than five minutes Googling. So the big question is, who is checking on these companies
He says he is not aware of a single letting agent being prosecuted for not being a member of a scheme, and has written to the Ministry of Justice to ask for details of any prosecutions - if they exist.
The problem is the relevant authorities seem to lack the resources to effectively enforce the law. It just feels like the entire redress scheme is about acting rather than taking action, regulation for regulations sake - not renter's sake says Jagota.
Last week letting Agent Today ran a story about consumer group Which fearing that spending cuts would prevent trading standards teams in councils policing issues concerning letting and estate agents.