Regulated Lettings Agents

Regulated Lettings Agents

“Lettings Agents – Compare the Market”

Why You Should Use a Regulated Lettings Agent

This year, many of us have taken a hard look at where we are in our working lives.  We have been able to decide on what, if any, positive changes we might like to make.  Listeners to my radio show ‘Let’s Talk Property’ will already be familiar with my colleague James Duffy.  James has recently been appointed the ARLA Regional Representative for Sussex.  James has warned Landlords and Tenants previously about Regulated Lettings Agents.  In his new capacity as Sussex ARLA Representative, now is a very good time to reinforce his advice.

I wanted to find out why James decided to take on this new challenge.  More importantly, I wanted James’ opinion on how regulation is continually changing the property sector for the better.

ARLA Propertymark

For anyone not familiar with ARLA Propertymark, it is the UK’s leading professional and regulatory body for letting agents and represents more than 9,000 members.  Standards set by ARLA are much higher than the basic legal requirements.  This means that anyone who uses a listed member can do so with greater peace of mind.

“I’ve been in the industry for 19 years and I’m very passionate about raising standards within it,” James tells me.

“The upcoming Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) is a topic that’s quite close to my heart and something that I really want to be involved helping with the implementation of, assisting members to make that transition as easy as possible for everybody.”

Industry changes

RoPA is just one of the many changes coming to the rental sector in terms of regulation and compliance.  So I asked James just how big a job he is taking on?

“There’s a team of people at Propertymark who provide a support network of different regional representatives up and down the country.  And the presidential team obviously give the likes of me support within my region,” he explains. “So I’m not on my own. I’m grateful I’ve got a good team behind me in our organisation.”

“One of the things that I’ve learned about talking to landlords and tenants across my 19 years is that people don’t actually understand that not all letting agents offer the same level of protection for them,” James continues. “So if you instruct an ARLA member you can be sure that you have an additional level of protection. You can ensure your money is protected under the Property Money Protection Scheme, and as well as abiding by a national code of conduct, members have to hold professional indemnity.

ARLA members are experienced and trained professionals.  They must undertake regular training and keep up-to-date with complex legislative changes and best practice, along with other protection elements.”

Real life help

“Tenants are being scammed in a recent spike of fake adverts.  Applicants are looking at adverts of letting properties online.  They may then hand over money to the people who are advertising these properties,” James tells me.

“They’re actually fake adverts!  Tenants are losing money because the property isn’t even owned by certain people putting up these adverts on private websites.  So tenants really do need to make sure when they’re looking for a property they are also looking to use an ARLA agent or a qualified agent who abides by a code of conduct, and likewise landlords.”

“You can find that by searching ‘find a member‘ on the ARLA Propertymark website.  If you find a property with an agent, then obviously look at their website to make sure that the advert that they are promoting ties into their company.”

Three Years

James will serve as the Sussex ARLA rep for the next three years.  I wondered what he hopes to achieve by 2023?

“Obviously I want to focus on the local issues that the Sussex members are facing,” he replied.  “There are national issues, but there are issues across Sussex.  I want to help tackle those and listen to what local ARLA members are having problems with, as well as the good ideas they want to put forward.”

“One of my priorities is to assist with growing the membership within my local area.  I want to maintain the membership, specifically the members that are potentially going to need to be qualified to a certain level when the Regulation of Property Agents come in,” he adds.

Industry careers

At my company Callaways, we’ve always been supporters of apprenticeships and internships.  I also know that is something close to James’ heart.

“I’m quite passionate about bringing new people in at entry-level and seeing it as a long-term career through the apprentice route.”

“There’s hopefully going to be quite a clear professional career route with the Regulation of Property Agents.  That’s quite exciting. I think it’s good for the industry and also good for the consumers.”

Facing the future

With almost twenty years of experience in the sector, James still has a remarkable enthusiasm for his industry.

“Approximately 4.6 million people are in the private rented sector (PRS).  There is a real need for all stakeholders to ensure that we’re providing the best possible standards.  This applies for both tenants and landlords,” he explains.

“Over the years there has been a drive to bring in more legislation for the benefit of tenants and also to protect landlords.  I regularly speak to people in my day job, at the seminars that we run, and also on the ‘Let’s Talk Property’ radio show.   Feedback from landlords and tenants is that, actually, they don’t always know exactly what their rights, nor obligations, are.”

“I found that by providing that level of knowledge and service to help landlords and tenants, to actually know who’s responsible for what’s within their tenancy agreement and within their obligations as a landlord, you can really help people.  A lot of it’s down to communication and people really understanding who’s responsible. My experience has told me, it’s really about education all around.”

So congratulations are in order for James, who is already relishing his new role.  You can contact the new ARLA Regional Representative for Sussex at and hear more of his views and opinions on my Radio Reverb show ‘Let’s Talk Property’