The latest annual report from the Property Ombudsman has suggested that a growing number of people in the property sector are standing up for themselves.
Findings from the report indicate that more landlords and tenants that are not satisfied with their tenancy agreement are now prepared to challenge the source of the problem.
Changes in legislation have made it a legal requirement for agents and property managers within England to become a member of a government accredited scheme.
The number of challenges to the Ombudsman were up 42% in 2014, in comparison to the previous twelve months. Ombudsman spokesman Christopher Hamer said that, ‘2014 saw continued and significant growth in the private rented sector.’ He went on to suggest that of the supposed 1.6 million private landlords, many do not have the relevant experience or qualities needed to perform their role properly. This, Hamer feels, is why, ‘the role of letting and managing agents in providing quality customer service based on a comprehensive knowledge of relevant legislation is more important now than ever before.’
Mr Hamer continued by calling for a carefully constructed regulatory regime in the private lettings sector. After acknowledging the different legislation that has been passed in the previous 12 months which has dealt with differing parts of the sector, Hamer said it was now time to, ‘bring all such legal obligations into a coherent and sensible single law.’
More findings from the report show that there was 19% rise in registered membership letting offices, with a 40% overall rise in letting cases received by the Property Ombudsman. 33% of these cases were resolved by mediation.
Of the issues reported to the Ombudsman, 11% related to repair and maintenance. 54% of complainants were landlords, as opposed to 44% for tenants. 23% of complainants hailed from the South East, 21% from Greater London and 9% from the South West.