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What checks are you taking to protect yourself?

You’ve found a property to let, it meets your needs and the rent is good.  You’ve checked the fees and the deposit to be paid, and you can’t wait to move into your new home.  But fantastic property aside, what checks have you undertaken to ensure you are protecting yourself?

 

It may not have crossed your mind to check whether the letting agent or landlord is regulated.  You are certainly not on your own, as a worrying number of people presume that all letting agents are regulated.  Yet, over the last five years, more than half those who have rented, bought or sold a property have had issues with their estate or letting agent.

 

At Rees Associates we are a member of ARLA Propertymark, and, as such, have to follow a strict code of conduct.  Being regulated means you, the tenant, are protected and it also encourages us to maintain highest of standards in our industry.  It’s important to us to offer such protection to our clients, as we want you to be assured you’re in safe hands.

 

The result of a recent study by ARLA Propertymark found that 42% of tenants decided to rent a property without even considering if the agent was regulated or part of a professional body.  They simply didn’t ask.  Using an unregulated letting agent when renting a property can lead to a variety of issues; the research found the most common were:

  • A long waiting time for problems with the property to be fixed
  • Difficulty getting replacements for old items
  • Without reason, failing to have the full deposit returned

 

“The number of buyers, sellers and renters checking to see if their agent is regulated has improved since 2014, but it’s still worrying that so many people assume all agents are members of a professional body, such as Propertymark, and aren’t considering this when choosing an agent.

“It’s really important consumers look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo when choosing an agent; it means they’re dealing with a professional who has opted for regulation in an unregulated sector and it will give them peace of mind that their money is protected.” Mark Hayward, Propertymark.

 

Your deposit is your hard earned money; if you have cared for and maintained your rental property, there shouldn’t be any issues seeing your deposit returned.  Your deposit should also be protected, have you checked where it will be held for the duration of your tenancy? 

 

Legally, it has to be placed in a government-backed deposit scheme, and, as members of Propertymark, we use the backed Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme.  As members of the CMP, our finances are checked independently to make sure everything is in order.  Should anything go wrong, you are covered by the Propertymark reimbursement scheme.

 

We want to do everything we can to make sure you and your money are protected.  What checks have you done to ensure the same?