What a property agent is, what legislation they must comply with, how to make a complaint or resolve a dispute with a property agent.
What a property agent is
A property agent can be:
- an estate agent
- a letting agent
- a property management agent
Legislation property agents must comply with
Property agents must comply with certain legislation, including, but not limited to:
- Estate Agents Act 1979
- Tenant Fees Act 2019, and the relevant letting agency legislation for England only
- Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
- Consumer Rights Act 2015
- Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations for sales
- Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations for lettings
- Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017
- Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (“UK GDPR”)
If a property agent doesn't comply with the law, they can face:
- a financial penalty (fine)
- enforcement action, including prosecution
- prohibition from engaging in estate agency work
Make a complaint about a property agent
If you want to make a complaint about a property agent, you should contact them first. They should have their own complaints procedure in place to deal with your issue.
Citizen's Advice have some useful tips on how to complain about:
Make a complaint to the redress scheme
If your property agent doesn't resolve your complaint, you can contact one of these two redress schemes:
All estate agents who deal with residential property must belong to one of these schemes. To find out which scheme your property agent belongs to, search for them on:
- the property agent checker
- the property redress scheme and property ombudsman websites
For letting agency and property management work, the requirements to join a redress scheme vary depending on where you live in the UK. Find more information on what applies to your area from your local trading standards service.
Your property agent doesn't belong to a redress scheme
Your property agent may not be a member of a redress scheme, because:
- they don't have to be a member, for example, they don't deal with residential property, or
- they're trading illegally, in breach of their legal obligation to belong to a redress scheme
If your property agent isn't a member of a redress scheme, there may be other organisations and trade associations that can help you.
- contact your local trading standards service for more advice or to report an agent
- contact Rent Smart Wales for advice or to report an agent, if you're in Wales
- ask for advice from:
Resolve a dispute with a property agent
If you need to resolve a dispute with a property agent, you could use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
ADR is a way of resolving disputes without going to court, for example, mediation.
For more information on ADR, visit:
- alternative dispute resolution for consumers, if you're in England or Wales
- using Alternative Dispute Resolution to solve your consumer problem, if you're in Scotland
- alternatives to going to court, if you're in Northern Ireland
Report a property agent
If you want to report a property agent, you can:
- report an agent to your local trading standards service
- ask for advice from:
- contact your local authority for advice
- get independent legal advice
Contact the housing or environmental health teams of your local authority to report issues around:
- property disrepair
- illegal eviction
- property licensing issues
Inform NTSELAT of any issues
We welcome all information about trading practices in the property agency industry. Contact us to let us know of any issues you have.
However, we do not:
- give consumer advice about individual cases
- become involved with disputes or complaints against businesses
We won't use your details unless you agree that we can.