The impending ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants could severely limit the ability of renters to complain to redress schemes about agents.
The ban – confirmed by housing minister Gavin Barwell on the Today programme on Friday if the Tories regain power – would result in tenants not paying agents any fees.
As such, it has been claimed, it opens a legal minefield as to whether renters could be regarded as ‘customers’. If so, that could limit or even extinguish their rights to complain.
The argument would be that if tenants do not pay, how could they seek redress?
At the least, it would seem that as non-paying customers, their ability to complain about free services could be severely restricted.
The question does seem hypothetical, since buyers – who do not pay sales agents – are able to complain to ombudsman and redress services about estate agents.
However, some analysts are raising the query as to whether tenants would be able to complain to TPO about, for example, external provisions for which they would not pay, such as referencing and inventory services.
We have asked TPO to comment.