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.
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
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
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.