Let Belle Vue, a lettings and property management agency in Darlington, has been fined £3,000 for not being in an official redress scheme.
The local council used the Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc) (England) Order 2014 legislation, which requires that all lettings agents and those in property management in England to be a member of one of the three government-approved redress schemes.
Darlington council issued a fixed penalty charge on the agency after issuing a final notice; the agency appealed but a tribunal upheld the fine.
“The vast majority of local lettings agents signed up to a redress scheme voluntarily before the legislation was introduced. We take the rights of tenants very seriously and so we took action against the small number that did not to ensure that tenants and landlords can get an independent redress if they have a complaint” says a council spokesman.
The council says Let Belle Vue is now registered with an approved scheme.