Why Use An ARLA Propertymark Protected Agent?

If you are looking for a letting agent to work with, there are a number of factors that need to be considered. Not only are you going to need to look at the letting agent’s experience and their reputation in the industry but it is also a good idea to ensure that the agent is protected with the ARLA Propertymark. In this blog post, we will reveal exactly what that is and why it is beneficial.

What is the ARLA?

For those that are unaware, ARLA stands for The Association of Residential Letting Agents. This is the foremost regulatory body in the UK for the lettings sector, working to protect consumers and improve standards all of the time. A lot of tenants and landlords do not realise that the lettings industry is not regulated, which means that anyone is able to set up as a letting agency.

However, by becoming an ARLA Propertymark member, it means that the agents need to fulfil a number of different responsibilities, and so this can give you complete peace of mind when choosing a letting agent.

Reasons you should always make sure a letting agent is an ARLA Propertymark member

So what are the benefits of going down this route in further detail?

  • An ARLA Propertymark member will have Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • An ARLA Propertymark member will hold membership to an independent redress scheme.
  • An ARLA Propertymark member will adhere to the Code of Practice that is in place, ensuring you of the best possible standards.
  • You can also be sure that your letting agent is going to be undertaking regular training as part of their ARLA Propertymark membership. They will also make sure that they stay up-to-date with any changes in the industry, especially those of a legislative nature.
  • Being an ARLA Propertymark member is a mark of quality. This means that you are going to be working with the best experts in the field, ensuring you of high quality and professional advice at all times.
  • If you work with an ARLA Propertymark member, your money is going to be protected. This is because ARLA take Client Money Protection (CMP) very seriously, and this means that their members do too. Your money is going to be held in a designated separate bank account, which means that it would be protected should the company go bust or any unforeseen incident like this were to occur. Any letting agent that is an ARLA Propertymark member will need to submit Client Money accounts on a yearly basis, and these will be audited independently.

As you can see, the advantages of choosing a letting agent that is an ARLA Propertymark member is there for all to see. You should never take the risk of going for a letting agent that does not have this membership.

The Tenant Fee Ban

It has been over two years since the Chancellor announced that certain fees applicable to tenants would be banned. This tenant fee ban was announced as part of the Autumn Statement. When the announcement was made, there was a big concern that tenants were being over-charged by landlords and letting agents when it comes to the process of setting up a tenancy. A lot of people believed that this was making it too expensive for people to enter the market for privately rented accommodation.

Needless to say, those involved in the industry know that there are a lot of hurdles and complexities when it comes to locating the right tenant and then drawing up all of the legal agreements that are required to protect both parties. This is without mentioning safeguarding all of our landlords against the risks of penalties for making a simple error.

Tenant fees that have been banned

Despite this, the reality of the situation is that the majority of fees that are charged to tenants are now banned. This has been the case since the beginning of the month. The rules are the same, though, no matter you use a letting agent or you manage the property and let it out yourself.

So, let’s take a look at what you can and cannot charge tenants for. You are not allowed to charge tenants for the following:

  • Cleaning or gardening costs
  • A fee to complete the inventory
  • Any default payments not detailed in the tenancy agreement
  • Any deposit that is more than five weeks worth of rent
  • Costs to complete the reference, including if the tenant requires a guarantor

There are also a number of costs that are allowable. This includes the following:

  • Reasonable fees in the event the tenant wants to end a tenancy early
  • Reasonable fees for making tenancy agreement amendments
  • Default payments, as long as they have been detailed in the tenancy agreement
  • A deposit up to five weeks of rent
  • Rent
  • Holding deposit of up to one week’s rent

Deposit changes

It is also important to note that there has now been a significant change with regards to the amount of deposit that a landlord can take as well. This has now been capped at a maximum of five weeks of rent.

Nevertheless, when you consider the fact that all deposits need to be held in a scheme that has been approved by the government in the UK, this does not really have a big impact on landlords at the beginning of a tenancy.

However, it does mean that they have lower protection against any tenants that default. This is because this means that a rogue tenant does not have much incentive to pay their final month’s rent if they have made damage to the property, as they know their deposit is only a little bit more than this. This can mean that a landlord would end up out of pocket.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies are impacted by these changes, and this is the most popular type of tenancy in the UK.

We hope this blog post has helped to give you some clarity regarding the recent changes in the letting sector in the UK.

May 2019 – ARLA Propertymark Membership Confirmed

Shortland Horne Property Management are now members of ARLA Propertymark

Shortland Horne Property Management Coventry strive to achieve the highest level of service and professionalism. As part of our ongoing development we have now been accepted as members to the UK's most respected professional body for Letting Agents. As well as passing a strict application process, Shortland Horne Property Management will continue to abide by the ARLA Propertymark code of conduct and additionally Propertymark are Shortland Horne Property Management's suppliers of Client Money Protection (CMP).

Welcome to our blog

Shortland Horne Letting Agents Coventry we offer professional Letting and Property Management services to Landlords in Coventry, Leamington Spa and Warwickshire. Our prominent Coventry City Centre office houses our award winning Letting Agents team on the ground floor shop front office and our separate Property Management department is located on the third floor office. For more information please feel free to download a copy of our free Landlords Guide.

Welcome to our blog

At Shortland Horne Letting Agents Coventry we offer professional Letting and Property Management services to Landlords in Coventry, Leamington Spa and Warwickshire. Our prominent Coventry City Centre office houses our award winning Letting Agents team on the ground floor shop front office and our separate Property Management department is located on the third floor office. For more information please feel free to download a copy of our free Landlords Guide.

WordPress › Error

There has been a critical error on your website.

Learn more about debugging in WordPress.