Loads of Property Landlords being Jailed…

Every week there is a story released of a letting agent being jailed for stealing client’s money. Thousands of Property Landlords are losing millions of pounds and most are unaware of the risk. Don’t let this happen to you.

Here are a couple of examples;

http://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/Agent-who-stole-from-clients-is-jailed-for-two-years
http://www.lettingagentnews.co.uk/letting-agent-jailed-for-stealing-1370000-1101

The reason for this increasing problem is twofold;

1. Competition driving down agents fees to unsustainable levels
2. Agents having inadequate procedures and controls

So how do you protect yourself when choosing a letting agent?

Quite simply make sure that you choose a ‘Safe Agent’ member. We’re members and we’re also approved agents of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Becoming an ARLA agent is not easy – that’s why the fly by nights don’t even try.

ARLA agents must adhere to the following strict requirements;
1. Compliance with the ARLA Code of Practice for administering client funds
2. Membership of the Property Ombudsman Scheme for Lettings
3. Professional Indemnity Insurance
4. Chartered Accountant’s periodic audit reports verifying financial controls and correct administration of client funds
5. Client Money Bonded Protection Insurance providing £25,000 of cover to Landlords & Tenants. (Details > http://www.arla.co.uk/media/39793/client_money_protection_arla.pdf)

If an ARLA agent was to steal funds, or go out of business, landlords and tenants can recover any loss under the insurance scheme. It works just like ABTA travel insurance.

Now, you wouldn’t dream of booking a holiday with a travel agent who wasn’t ABTA approved, so why would you even consider risking thousands of pounds in lost rent by using an agent who isn’t a Safe Agent member?