Being a landlord and renting out properties is an increasingly complex process. Keeping up with the 170+ relevant pieces of legislation is a genuine challenge for even the most experienced landlord.
Many choose to use a letting agent to ensure everything is looked after by an expert. But it might surprise you to know that there is currently no statutory regulation of letting agents in England...
...so how can you ensure your property is in safe hands?
Megan Eighteen is the Lettings Manager in Davis Tate’s flagship Reading office and is also the ARLA Propertymark Regional Executive for the area.
Below, Megan explains how choosing an ARLA registered lettings agency helps to ensure they have the knowledge and experience required to deliver the professional standards landlords expect.
What is ARLA?
ARLA is the Association of Residential Lettings Agents and is a membership division of Propertymark, the professional body for the property sector dedicated to promoting the highest industry standards. Members display this logo on their website to show they are an ARLA registered agent and committed to the values and standards it promotes.
Why should I use an ARLA registered agent?
ARLA provides guidance to keep its members up to date with the countless proposals, reports, investigations and legislative changes to the property sector. As an ARLA registered letting agent, Davis Tate can keep on top of this for all of our clients and make sure that our managed landlords are fully compliant.
Does being an ARLA member mean an agent is regulated?
Agents join ARLA voluntarily to ensure they are at the forefront of the sector and demonstrate their commitment to providing exceptional service. ARLA regulates its members’ activity according to a code of conduct and rules, with disciplinary action for instances of non-compliance.
How do I know an ARLA agent has the latest information?
Members attend regular training from industry experts to keep their skills and experience up to date and must complete Continual Professional Development (CPD). By using a qualified ARLA letting agent, you are guaranteed to be working with an experienced and trained professional who will be able to give you current advice and guidance and help ensure you are compliant.
What additional protection does using an ARLA agent provide?
ARLA members are required to hold professional indemnity insurance to cover themselves (and by extension, you as a landlord) for any problems that arise out of a letting agreement. They are also backed up by a Client Money Protection scheme which protects any financial transactions that go through the agent.
Is there anything else members have to do?
Members’ accounts also have to be inspected annually by an independent accountant and those accounts are then submitted to ARLA. Members are also required to belong to one of the Government-approved independent redress schemes: The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or Property Redress Scheme (PRS). Redress schemes provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between members of the public and agents.
What does this mean for Davis Tate landlords?
Davis Tate chooses to be a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) in order to demonstrate our professionalism and to hold ourselves to the high standards required of ARLA members. We are also a member of the government-approved redress scheme, The Property Ombudsman (TPO).
In my role as ARLA Propertymark Regional Executive, I support ARLA members within Oxfordshire & Berkshire and am on hand to provide advice, signposting and to run the regional meetings. I also works alongside local councillors and MPs, providing valuable insight of what is happening at parliament with legislative changes coming to the lettings sector.
Having a member of the Davis Tate team at the forefront of our industry in this way means our managed landlords can rest assured that we will strive for the highest standards when looking after their property and tenants.
If you'd like to talk to us about any aspect of your property, simply contact a member of our friendly team at your local branch. We look forward to speaking with you!