If I had a pound for every time this happens I would have several pounds….
“Hello, Belvoir Aldershot, Raewyn speaking how can I help?”
“Hi, I have a flat in Aldershot to let and want to know how much you’d charge to manage it?”
Ok, nothing to object to there, but hand on heart, the first question I would ask a Letting Agent is…
“I am interested in your management service but can you please tell me who your client money protection is with?”
Then I would go to the schemes website and check they’re up to date.
Agents who belong to Safeagent, ARLA, RICS or SAFE Agent will have Client Money Protection which insures money is safe with these agents.
Agents like to splash their websites with badges such as The Property Ombudsman, the London Landlord Accreditation, Rightmove and Zoopla.
Whilst they look authoritative and official (and are good organisations) they aren’t client money protection.
Letting agents are trusted with large sums of money, a year’s rent ahead or large deposits running into thousands, client money protection ensures your money is not being used to fund the business or syphoned off altogether. To protect yourself call your agent and ask them which Client Money Protection scheme they use. Agents who have it jump through hoops to get the cover, having their accounts probed and audited, accounting for every last penny they are paid and will be happy to demonstrate they do. Even if you never ever use or talk to my company at Belvoir Aldershot I would urge landlords to ask this one question of their agents and use an agent who cares enough to offer this protection to their customers.
I am always happy to give free advice, call me anytime.