Landlord Law

Part 2.1

2.1 For landlords only: selecting an agent

Landlords should only engage agents who:

– are members of an accredited body
– are members of an independent redress scheme
– protect client money by way of a clients’ money protection scheme; and

Lets take a look at the sort of things landlords need to watch out for.

Accredited bodies:

The main accredited bodies for agents are as follows:

ARLA – The Association of Residential Letting Agents

This is perhaps the best known.  Agents who are members of ARLA have to comply to a code and undergo training – which is provided by ALRA.

RICS – The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

This is the professional organisation of surveyors, many of whom are also letting agents.  They also have stringent standards and provide training for their members.

NALS – The National Approved Letting Scheme

An independent licensing scheme for the industry providing training for members

Independent Redress Schemes

From 1 October all letting agents and property managers will need to be a member of one of the three government authorised redress schemes:

I am on the Council of the PRS and I wrote about this > here.

Clients money protection schemes

Safe AgentThis is extremely important.  If you use an agent to manage your property they will hold large sums of your money.

It is not unknown for agents to spend their landlord’s money and then either go insolvent or disappear with it.  So you need to make sure that client money protection is in place.

The best way to check is to look for the Safe Agent logo. This indicates that the firm is a member of one of the accredited bodies and has client money protection in place.

However don’t rely on the logo alone.  You can check whether agents are registered by a search engine on the Safe Agent website.

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