1. Are they a member of ARLA?
One of the most important of your questions for a potential letting agent or private landlord has to be “are you a member of ARLA?” If you are met by a blank look it is probably a good time to move swiftly on!
ARLA is the Association of Residential Letting Agents and membership provides a guarantee that you are dealing with a professional company who are continually updated on all current legislation and follow an exacting code of practice. All of which eliminates or minimises risks for landlords and offers market leading protection too. You can take further comfort that the code of conduct also ensures the necessary duty of care being afforded to your current / future tenant.
To be regulated by ARLA you also have to be a member of the Property Ombudsman Scheme, that is to say if the prospective letting agent you are considering is not a member then you will have little redress if things do go wrong. Save for the very expensive civil action route, which will steal a significant amount of your time effort and energy, not to mention the financial costs involved.
Another valuable benefit of using an ARLA registered provider is the agency will have Professional Indemnity Insurance which offers further protection to both landlords and tenants. Unregulated agencies or unregulated landlords may not have the appropriate level of insurance or indeed any Professional Indemnity Insurance what so ever and consequently offer no such protection to either their landlords or tenants.
ARLA members meet regularly and share best practice, including lobbying legislators (government) and other industry bodies to ensure the agency and landlord voices and interests are positively represented. Regent Lettings are proud to be a member of ARLA which clearly demonstrates we take our responsibilities seriously. We offer a peace of mind solution and recognise our duty of care to tenants and landlords.
The team at Regent Lettings Newbury are happy to provide impartial advice without obligation to prospective / existing landlords Tel: 01635 246333. Further information also available from www.arla.co.uk
Our next blog will explain the TPO Scheme (referred to above) in greater detail.