When renting out your home through a letting agency, it’s important to work with a firm which takes its compliance responsibilities seriously.
In recent years, government regulation of the private rental sector has increased significantly, meaning landlords – and letting agents working on their behalf – have more compliance obligations than ever before. Penalties for non-compliance can be severe, so it’s vital that you stay on the right side of the law.
Mandatory Client Money Protection
The most recent piece of legislation for letting agents to adhere to is mandatory membership of a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme, introduced on April 1 2019.
As part of this legislation, letting agents are now required to hold client money with a bank or building society which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have professional indemnity insurance in place.
Agents are also now required to display their CMP certificate prominently on their website and in their offices and have appropriate CMP handling measures in place.
It’s important that your agent is part of a CMP scheme so that your money is protected in the event that it is misappropriated or used fraudulently, or in the event your letting agent goes out of business. CMP schemes operate on an insurance basis, allowing consumer to make claims for their funds to be returned if they go missing.
Here at Parkgate Estates, as we take protecting our clients’ money very seriously, we are covered by UKALA’s CMP Certified scheme, which is underwritten by Hiscox and regulated by the FCA.
Does your agent belong to a redress scheme?
Another key piece of legislation, which has been around for some time now, is the need for all letting agents and property managers to be part of a government-approved redress scheme.
These organisations provide consumers with the means to lodge complaints against agents and act as a mediator in disputes between all parties.
We are a member of The Property Ombudsman, a not-for-profit organisation which has been providing redress services since 1990.
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll need to make a complaint about the service provided by your letting agent, it’s important that you have the peace of mind that the option is there should you need it.
What’s more, as the vast majority of agents are members of a redress scheme as a matter of course, it stands to reason that those firms who are yet to sign up may not be confident in the service they are offering.
The rental sector is becoming more professional
As mentioned above, in recent times the government has paid increasing attention to the rental market and introduced a number of new regulations. This contributes towards ridding the industry of rogue landlords and agents, increasing professional standards across the board.
Letting a property is certainly becoming more complex and time-consuming. And, with this in mind, it’s crucial that landlords work with a letting agency who takes their own compliance obligations seriously as well as those of their clients.
A compliant agency delivering a professional and efficient service is invaluable to the modern landlord as costs continue to rise and administrative pressures increase.
Here at Parkgate Estates, we have more than 40 years’ experience of working in the Richmond, Sheen, Mortlake and Putney areas, which means we have the knowledge and expertise to help you get the most from your rental properties while remaining complaint at the same time.
To find about more about how we can help you to let your home and maximise the value of your property portfolio, get in touch with our expert team today on: 0208 940 2991.
And if you’re thinking of letting your property and would like to know how much it could be worth on the current local market, you can request a free and instant online valuation.