Why use an ARLA member?
The importance of using a professionally qualified agent
During times of significant financial changes, almost everyone is tightening their financial belts.
It is often seen as an easy way to save a few pounds, by entrusting your most valuable asset to the agents who give you the cheapest deal. Be very careful though, your property is worth a lot of money, surely you want to protect that asset as much as possible by using an agent who actually holds professional qualifications within the industry?
It's all very well going for agents who are members of 'this and that' trade body, but which of these do you actually need to be qualified to join and which ones do you simply buy your membership???
ARLA - the Association of Residential Letting Agents - is THE leading authority in the country within the letting industry. Membership has nothing to do with how much you pay them to join, membership can only be achieved by passing professional qualifications to ensure the highest level of competency is achieved and maintained, giving landlords security that an agent who is a member actually knows how to look after their most valuable asset. Members are also required to maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where your money is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm.
Membership also ensures member agents are updated regularly with the latest legislation and information relevant to providing the highest level of service to both landlords and tenants.
Client money protection, professional indemnity insurance and yearly accountants reports are all compulsory parts of membership to ARLA.
We at Torbay Property Management have been members of ARLA for over ten years. Although the government has not yet made it a mandatory requirement for letting agents to be professionally qualified or be professionally regulated, it is something that the industry requires, with many agents opening and closing regularly with little or no experience or knowledge to safeguard the landlords or tenants.
With lots of information being printed and offered to landlords regarding new legislation and with the health and safety of tenants at risk, it’s worth asking the questions, is the information accurate or years out of date, putting you as the landlord or even your tenants in not only financial but also legal jeopardy
Most trade bodies available nowadays encourage agents to follow a set of 'guidelines' provided for a fee - please do not be drawn into thinking membership means an agent holds any professional qualifications, because it doesn't. For a simple yearly fee and completion of a form you can become a member and start trading. I encourage you to check with these trade bodies as to what their requirements are for membership.
If the agent you are using or thinking of using cannot provide you with the assurance of knowing they are a member of ARLA or at the very least hold some form of qualifications within the industry - - the question you need to ask is why not?
Then decide if saving a few pounds on an agent looking after your most valuable asset is a good idea???????
For more information please visit http://www.arla.co.uk/about-us/why-use-our-members/