Legal Changes 1st October 2008

publication date: Sep 15, 2008
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author/source: Kate Faulkner
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From Wednesday 1st October 2008, there are two major changes which affect the way that which estate agents you use to buy and sell property in the UK and most properties that are advertised for rent will require an Energy Performance Certificate.

Estate Agent Redress Scheme
All agents from Wednesday 1st October need to belong to one of the following two Estate Agent Redress Schemes:-

1. Ombudsman for Estate Agents
2. Surveyors Ombudsman Scheme

The scheme ensures that if you are unhappy with the service received from an Estate Agent and your complaint has not received a satisfactory conclusion with them that you can complain to an independent third party organisation - currently one of the two Ombudsman Scheme's above.

The OFT will also have increased powers to investigate and close down Estate Agents that are not following the law - so dodgy agents beware!

For more information on the Estate Agent Redress Scheme, go to the Dept for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
All properties that are advertised for rent from Wednesday 1st October must have available an Energy Performance Certificate for tenants to view. Visit Direct.gov for an example of what an EPC looks like.

EPCs are helpful to both tenants and landlords as tenants can have an idea of what their utility bills will cost and compare properties. They are also helpful to tenants because any landlord that doesn't have a EPC is breaking the law and may well not be protecting your deposit or making sure the property is let legally.

From a landlord's perspective, showing that you are abiding by the law from day one is incredibly important as it's a reason why they should take your property rather than one from a landlord that may well be under cutting your rent because they are skimping on their legal responsibilities.

For more information about the introduction of EPCs visit Direct.gov

 


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