The Charter

As Letting Agent

i.  Fees and charges:  provide landlords and tenants with a written statement setting out services to be provided and charges. Tenant charges must be published on a website and displayed in the offices of the letting agent.

ii.  Insurance: Maintain professional indemnity insurance and have in place client money protection insurance cover through a designated scheme for example. RICS, ARLA/NAEA, Law society or NALS.

iii.  Pre-tenancy: give clients advice on the level of rent they can expect to pay, arrange for relevant safety checks of properties and inform clients of defects, provide and fill in a rental agreement and take a deposit where instructed.

iv. During tenancy: collect the rent if instructed, keeping a separate clients account to hold all money and belong to an appropriate a client money protection scheme

v. End of tenancy: give clients advice on their options including reviewing the rent, serving correct notice on the tenant, dealing with return of the deposit in a prompt manner.

vi.  Complaints: maintain and operate a consumer complaints procedure and offer a means of independent consumer redress through being a member of a Government authorised redress scheme.

vii.  Aim to have at least one member of staff qualified and accredited by programmes such as those promoted by ARLA, RICS and NALS in each branch office of the agent.

viii. Take all reasonable steps to ensure that advice to landlords, tenants and prospective tenants is accurate and compliant

As Managing Agent

 i.   Written rental agreement: this must always be provided and should include the rent terms, frequency of payment, and the period of tenancy or license.

ii.  Deposit: must be protected, the amount must be specified and a copy of the deposit protection certificate plus the prescribed information about the return of the deposit must be provided to the tenant.

iii. Contact details: providing the tenant with their contact details including their address, a regular and an emergency telephone number and an email address. Landlords and agents should endeavour to respond to tenant communications.

iv. Availability: Landlords and agents should always be contactable and must respond within a reasonable period of time. If unavailable, tenants should be informed and given alternative contact details.

v. Reasonable notice of access: except in case of an emergency, landlords and agents should give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice, in writing and stating reasons, when access to the property is required by the landlord, contractor or agent.

vi. Emergency repairs: these should be dealt with or made safe as soon as practically possible and normally within 24 hours of when a landlord or agent is notified. Emergency repairs are defined as any defect where there is a risk of danger to health, safety and security of the tenant or a third party on the premises, or that affects the structure of the building adversely.

vii. Urgent repairs: wherever possible these should be dealt with within three working days of a landlord or agent being notified.

viii. Property conditions: Landlords must ensure that properties comply with legal requirements including having no category 1 hazards or significant/multiple category 2 hazards. Where relevant, properties must also comply with licensing schemes and landlords will always comply with statutory notices served by a local authority.  

ix.  Energy efficiency: landlords must work towards compliance with duties imposed upon them by the Energy Act 2011, especially related to requests for energy efficiency improvements by tenants and in relation to low ratings in energy performance.

x. End of tenancy: the deposit should be returned promptly and in full, minus verified costs that are chargeable to the tenant’s deposit. Landlords or agents should provide tenant references if requested.

xi. Complaints: landlords and agents must respond to tenant complaints promptly and must have their own complaints process in place if complaints are escalated.

xii. Dealing with tenants: landlords and agents must always act in a fair, reasonable and professional manner in their dealings with tenants, and must not discriminate in their dealings with prospective and/or existing tenants or treat them less favourably than others because of their  age, being or becoming a transsexual person, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or having a child, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, belief or lack of religion/belief, sex or sexual orientation.

 

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