One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a letting agency is whether or not they subscribe to a Client Money Protection Scheme. There have been several examples of unscrupulous letting agents who have mysteriously closed holding many thousands of pounds in client monies – primarily rental receipts that should have been paid over to the landlord.
According to the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) it is estimated that residential letting agents currently hold £14 billion in client monies but only when it is too late do consumers consider asking their agent whether the monies are held in a designated client account and whether they have the necessary insurance in place to protect that money in the event that the firm were to experience financial difficulties, or if the money were misappropriated.
Whilst deposits from tenants have been protected by way of the Deposit Protection Scheme introduced in 2007, there is no mandatory framework for the protection of rents actually received.
There are currently approximately 8,000 to 10,000 agents in the private residential sector, of which only around 40 per cent come under any regulatory framework and can offer the necessary protection to consumers. Member firms of NALS and the professional bodies, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), must meet clearly defined criteria as a condition of their accreditation or membership, which includes Client Money Protection cover.
As you might expect, we have full accreditation and all our rents are fully protected for our clients’ security so you can sleep easy knowing your investment is in safe hands.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA, MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer