We are frequently quoted in the press on a variety of lettings industry related topics. Below is a selection of recent articles and press releases.
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A Bournemouth letting agent has closed down owing potentially thousands of pounds in deposits and rents to its landlords, tenants and contractors that have carried out works but not been paid. It is not clear whether the funds were registered with an authorised deposit protection scheme or held in a protected account.
Allan & Bath’s Bournemouth’s Branch Manager, Russell Cruwys, said: “This is yet another distressing case of a letting agent disappearing owing its clients’ money. Unfortunately we have seen far too many cases like this over the last few years.
“As the private rented sector grows, more people are using letting agents, unaware that there is no proper regulation governing them, and in particular over how they handle client money. This case highlights the fundamental lack of controls on letting agents, which people need to be aware of so that they can take steps to protect themselves.”
Allan & Bath’s advice to landlords and tenants is simple. You are only protected if you use an agent that is a member of a professional body such as ARLA, NAEA or RICS. These organisations are self-regulating and ensure that clients’ money is held in separate, ring-fenced accounts and properly protected.
“But it’s not only about money,” says Russell: “Letting and managing rented property requires in-depth knowledge of the many rules and regulations governing residential lettings.
“Letting agents should have the resources, knowledge and training to look after every single tenancy correctly and efficiently. If not, major problems can arise for landlords, who are ultimately liable for the actions – or inactions – of their agent. For tenants it can literally be a matter of life and death if legislation regarding the safety of the property and its contents is not complied with, for example gas, electrical and fire safety regulations.
“When you consider the many potential risks to the public, it is shocking that any person or organisation can become a letting agent, with no training, qualifications or financial probity. Until there is proper regulation in place, unprofessional, unqualified and unethical agents will continue operate to the detriment of unwitting landlords and tenants. This is particularly worrying at a time when more and more people are turning to the private rented sector for their housing needs.”
Allan & Bath advise landlord and tenants to make sure their chosen agent is a member of a professional body such as ARLA or RICS, that they have Client Money Protections, qualified staff, many years experience and ideally specialise purely in lettings.
Allan & Bath are specialist local letting agents, backed by the Leaders Group, the UK’s largest independently owned specialist letting group. Established by the co-founder of the Association of Residential Letting Agents in 1983 (ARLA), Leaders provides financial probity and rigorous standards in letting and property management. Membership of ARLA, SAFEagent and The Property Ombudsman gives landlords and tenants complete peace of mind.
For advice you can trust on all aspects of letting, renting or buy-to-let please contact your local Allan & Bath branch or visit www.allanandbath.co.uk:
Bournemouth: 01202 292000
Poole: 01202 687000
Ferndown: 01202 895931
Ringwood: 01425 478479
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