The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) is a professional membership and regulatory body for letting agents and letting agencies in the UK. ARLA recognised that the requirements of the residential lettings market were so detailed and specific that a separate organisation was required to promote standards in this important sector of the property industry.
This is the ARLA Charter:
An Investor should:
Plan to be a Buy-to-Let Landlord over the medium to long-term as it is an investment that produces a variable combination of rental yield and capital appreciation.
Make an objective business decision when purchasing a property – you don’t have to like it personally, just be sure it is suitable for the local rental market.
Be aware that the rental market is fast moving with fluctuating supply and demand. This can influence achievable rental levels and occupancy rates.
Take informed advice from professional Letting Agents and specialised financial advisers from the beginning.
A Lender should:
Conduct a thorough analysis of affordability and not lend more than you can afford to repay.
Undertake a professional assessment of the security and the reasonableness of the forecast rental income.
Provide clear information on Buy-to-Let products and services and on your obligations as a borrower.
Explain what to do if you get into difficulties with mortgage payments.
A Letting Agent should:
Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the legalities, regulations and obligations which apply to Landlords, Tenants and Agents.
Provide realistic and up to date guidance on supply and demand based on a detailed local knowledge of the market.
Hold Professional Indemnity Insurance, separate Client Accounts and a Client Money Bonding scheme and employ trained and qualified staff.
Have access to a complaints process over the service standards of letting agents and to have procedures for resolving disputes over deposits between Landlords and Tenants.
The Property Ombudsman
Samuel Estates membership of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) demonstrates our commitment to providing our call of our client landlords, vendors, tenants and buyers a truly professional service. By abiding to the TPO Codes of Practice we are working to higher professional standards than are currently required within the industry therefore setting you apart from our competition.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has been providing consumers and property agents with an alternative dispute resolution service since 1990.
The Ombudsman’s resolutions are designed to achieve a full and final settlement of the dispute and all claims made by either party. The Ombudsman can, where appropriate, make compensatory awards in individual cases up to a maximum of £25,000 for actual and quantifiable loss and/or for aggravation, distress and/or inconvenience caused by the actions of an agent.
The TPO Board charges scheme members an annual subscription however, it is the independent Council to whom the Ombudsman reports, the majority of which is made up of members. It is the Council who appoints the Ombudsman and sets his Terms of Reference.
TPO is a government approved scheme to provide independent redress in relation to disputes between consumers and property agents.
Redress not Regulation
The Ombudsman provides redress, where appropriate, to consumers whose complaints are considered on a case by case basis.
The Ombudsman is not a regulator and does not have the authority to take regulatory or legal action against an agent, impose fines or dictate the way agents conduct their business.
TPO is a full member of the Ombudsman Association and adheres to the organisation’s principles of good governance for ombudsman schemes.