In this article
• TTV membership criteria
• TTV code of conduct
• Benefits for tenants
The Tenants’ Voice letting agent scheme enables tenants to make informed decisions when choosing a letting agent. All the agents in our directory have been vetted against a strict criteria so you can rest assured knowing that when you enter a legally binding tenancy agreement, you will be treated with respect and your rights upheld.
TTV approved letting agents have your interests at heart as well as the landlords whose properties they manage. To ensure that our letting agents are honourable and behave in a just and fair way they must agree to our TTV Code of Conduct and meet our membership criteria. We manually check all letting agent applications. Letting agents cannot buy their way in to our directory; only the most reputable companies will receive our endorsement. When a letting agent becomes approved in our directory, they must maintain a positive average result from our tenant reviews, and pass an annual review if they are to keep their approved status.
The following minimum standards ensure that should a problem does arise your tenant rights are protected:
• The letting agency has a relevant client money protection membership provided by a Safe Agent, ARLA, or NALS.
• The agency has a structured course of recourse for tenancy related matters via a recognised provider such as The Property Ombudsman or Housing Ombudsman Service.
• The agency uses a deposit protection scheme for all tenancies via DPS, My Deposits, or TDS.
• Provided that TTV approved membership is successful, the agency will welcome tenant reviews on the TTV website.
• The agency will validate all reviews (i.e. confirm that the review was written by a legitimate tenant), when required, within 30 days of the review being published.
• The agency will accurately and clearly disclose all tenant fees payable and publish these on their TTV profile page or via an easily identifiable link to its website.
• The agency will accurately and clearly disclose its formal complaints process on their TTV profile page or via an easily identifiable link to its website.
• The agency will accurately and clearly disclose start and end tenancy procedures (such as cleaning, inventories, what is required of tenants when they vacate the property, etc.) on their TTV profile page or via an easily identifiable link to its website.
• The agency has procedures in place to ensure that landlords meet their obligations with regard to gas safety legislation under The Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations Act 1998.
• The agency has procedures in place to ensure landlords meet their obligations with regard to additional safety checks such as PAT Tests at least every two years; fixed wire tests every five to seven years; and insurance checks (annually).
• The agency will commit to providing quality properties from quality landlords that are safe, clean and in good repair, using professional and comprehensive inventories with responsible landlords.
• The agency will share a TTV welcome pack with all tenants, and share the landlord hand-out, informing all relevant parties of their TTV approved membership while actively encouraging reviews and feedback on their services via the TTV website.
• The agency will write a review on a tenant profile page at the end of their tenancy when requested. This will only be shared privately with TTV approved members (at no cost to the tenant) in order to build a recognisable tenancy history for tenants registered on our site.
TTV code of conduct and letting agent pledge
All TTV letting agents are required to adhere to our code of conduct and sign the following pledge:
The letting agency recognises the important role of tenants in the lettings industry, which we respect and we will strive to:
• Always be polite and courteous
• Liaise with client landlords to ensure that landlord obligations are met as set out in the relevant tenancy agreement
• Always provide a minimum of 24 hours’ notice to tenants in accordance with notice provisions in the tenancy agreement before entering a property
• Respond to all tenant enquires within 24 hours, even if it is just a polite update on progress
• Clearly and accurately disclose all fees that are potentially payable by a tenant to the agency up front and not introduce new fees once a lease is signed
• Liaise with client landlords in a time efficient manner when appropriate and will encourage the landlord to understand tenant issues
• Treat tenants with respect and with the same courtesy and attention as the agency would offer a client landlord
• Comply fully with the TTV membership criteria
Where to go for help
TTV tenants are encouraged to maintain calm and polite communication with their letting agent. Should any concerns arise, tenants should follow the letting agent’s formal complaints procedure and if there is no resolution to write a review and seek further advice in our articles on complaints and disputes.
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