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West Country council introduces property agent grading system

Monday 04 March 2019

Teignbridge council in Devon has launched a grading system, offering a recognised stamp of approval to help landlords and tenants easily identify trusted agents.

Designed to be similar to the familiar ‘food hygiene rating scheme’, the Property Agent Rating Scheme (PARS) will see participating agents displaying window stickers and certificates at their premises and ratings on their websites.

The private rented sector now the second largest tenure in England - made up of some 11,000 homes - promoting the need for an effective system to make the lettings process and experience as simple as possible for both landlords and tenants.

A statement released by the council said the scheme “...will enable landlords and tenants to easily identify who they can trust to look after their interests. Working with local landlords, landlord associations, letting agents, solicitors, and accountants, the scheme is a means of ensuring that all letting agents and property managers comply with letting related legislation.”

There are four PARS ratings; Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Bronze is identified as ‘good’ and means the agent meets all current letting-related legislation. Achieving a Silver rating means the agent also offers good practice; Gold rated agents go the extra mile offering enhanced service; and Platinum agents are also members of a regulatory body, such as ARLA Propertymark.

One local agency that immediately won a Platinum rating is Propertymark Protected Woods Lettings & Property Management, the lettings arm of the independent Woods Estate Agents & Auctioneers.

Woods lettings manager, Angie Richards, says: “With letting-related legislation becoming ever more complex, it is important for both landlords and tenants to have an understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and vital that landlords choose a reliable, trustworthy and honourable agent to act in both theirs and their tenants’ best interests.

“By using a PARS highly-rated agent, landlords and tenants in Teignbridge can be reassured that their asset/home is being appropriately and professionally managed.”

Sign up to the scheme