A new type of 007 – “Licensed to Let”
2nd June 2009
After a review last year of some deadly serious data collection about the Lettings industry, on 5 May 2009 the Association of Residential Letting Agents (or “ARLA” as it is colloquially known) launched a system of licensing letting agents and later this year the National Association of Estate Agents (or again “NEAE” as it is commonly known) will follow suit with its own stringent scheme to monitor Estate Agents.
Simon Gordon, Head of Communications, National Landlords Association said:
“We very much welcome this latest development as another push to raise standards within the private-rented sector. Letting agents are in a particular position of trust between Landlords and Tenants and their practices must be above reproach. The ARLA Licensing Scheme should go a long way to ensuring consumers are protected from poor letting agents and improve the image of the sector as a whole.”
The ARLA Licensing Scheme creates a “gold” standard for Letting Agents in the UK ensuring that Landlords and Tenants alike are offered best practice service and advice. In order to receive the licence, it is compulsory that each member must:
- hold a gold professional qualification relating to lettings
- undertake Continuing Professional Development (training)
- have a client money protection scheme in place to protect Tenant and Landlord funds held by the office
- have an annual independent audit
- have professional indemnity insurance
- sign up to an independent redress scheme
- abide by the strict ARLA Code of Practice
Having dealt with property letting in a 50 mile radius of Cirencester for nearly 18 years, it is no surprise that SEARLES Property Consultancy Ltd is the only independent and fully licensed letting agent in Cirencester. “I am delighted to have been able to meet the exacting criteria and receive my license so quickly after the launch of my new business and the new licensing scheme. I hope that local Landlords will recognise the quality of service this means I continue to offer when they consult me on any aspect of their rental property and that Tenants too will be assured by the presence of my license,” said Soffi Searle of SEARLES Property Consultancy Ltd.