Believe it or not, Lettings as an industry is currently unregulated and therefore Landlords should always chose an Agent that is a member of a regulatory body. There are a number of regulatory organisations, however the recognised industry standard is ARLA . Some Agents will also be members of Safe Agent or The Property Ombudsman Scheme for Lettings, however ARLA affords the most protection to clients and they have the most rigid and comprehensive membership criteria.
Why Should A Landlord Or Tenant Seek Out An ARLA Member?
Probity and Protection – ARLA leads the industry in setting and regulating the highest standards in the industry and demands certain levels of professionalism and commitment to customer service from its membership.
ARLA members are required to work within a robust Code of Practice, which covers the key stages in letting and managing a property. There are comprehensive membership Byelaws which include compliance with such issues as handling and accounting for Clients’ money; the mandatory ARLA Client Money Protection Bonding Scheme; Professional Indemnity Insurance; Dealing with Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures.
ARLA members are required to employ a minimum of at least one member of staff, in any office, who holds a suitable industry qualification, recognised by the Association. ARLA keeps it’s members up to date with changes in legislation and provides wide-ranging training and guidance to help members understand and interpret all aspects of letting and managing a property.
Why should you choose a letting agent who is a member of the TPO Scheme?
Any Letting Agent subscribing to scheme must follow The Property Ombudsman Letting Code of Practice. This sets out the framework within which member agents must operate and the standards of service they must provide for both Tenants and Landlords. The Code is compulsory and is rigorously applied in their dealing of complaints. The agent is required and has agreed to have Professional Indemnity Insurance to ensure that should any claims that maybe made against the agent, can be covered. The agent is required to have an in-house complaints system with a written complaints procedures; informing potential claimants how to refer any unresolved disputes to the Ombudsman and co-operate with any investigation by the Ombudsman. Under the Scheme, The agent would pay compensation, in full and final settlement of the complaint, if this is awarded by the Property Ombudsman.