A WILTSHIRE estate agent has been fined £1,000 for not being part of a government scheme that resolves disputes between agents and customers.

The scheme ensures tenants get free and impartial advice if they get into a dispute with their landlord.

All property agents must be part of a redress scheme by law.

Jayson Kent said he forgot to renew membership after moving properties.

"We had recently moved premises and inbetween the move there was an oversight and it didn't get renewed.

"We had been members before and as soon as this was highlighted, we reapplied," said the Melksham-based agent.

Yvonne Bennett, Wiltshire Council’ s trading standards manager, said: “Being part of a redress scheme is an important consumer protection issue. It enables people to access free, impartial and independent alternative dispute resolution, if they believe an estate agent has not acted appropriately.

"Mr Kent was asked to provide evidence of his membership some time before the penalty notice was issued following a complaint, but failed to do so. Mr Kent continues to trade as an estate agent since being given the fine in November and as of 7 January 2019, is yet to join a redress scheme.”