Following the revelation that the vast majority of agency websites are breaking the law, letting agents have been warned that now is the time to carry out compliance checks.
The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) is working with local authorities and six approved CMP providers to identify those who aren’t meeting the current legalities and requirements of regulating letting agents.
Amongst other things, your website should include:
- The fees you charge both tenants and landlords
- Proof that you’re registered with an approved money protection or redress scheme, including your CMP certificate and procedures
- Up-to-date ARLA and TPO logos
So far, 67 websites across two London boroughs have been investigated and Trading Standards have warned it will continue to crack down on others. Its officers have the authority to impose fines of up to £5,000 for any firm which fails to display the required information.
Speaking about the responsibility agents have with regards to compliance, Head of Brent and Harrow Trading Standards, Simon Legg commented:
“Often agents try to blame their web programmers for errors, but it’s the agents’ responsibility to check that their website’s content is correct. We advise businesses to be proactive in this respect and schedule regular spot checks to ensure everything is being displayed as they expect.”
Here at Hughes Consultancy Services, we know exactly what’s required from a legal standpoint so we’ve put together a 10-point audit which will ensure you’re compliant with The Property Ombudsman (TPO), Companies Act and ARLA regulations. Once this check has been completed, we will be able to advise on any updates you need to make, and indeed assist you make them if you wish us to.
If you would like us to undertake a fixed fee review of your site before Trading Standards have a peek, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Hughes Consultancy Services today.