It's hard to believe but we still see estate and letting agents failing to join redress schemes. It has been a legal requirement since October 1st 2014 and any grace and favour period has now well and truly expired.
Back in July we saw 11 agents fined with a further 4 in the pipeline, by just one council alone!
What's even harder to believe is that some agents claim not to be aware of their obligations.
CAP compliancy is also still being ignored by many and now with the additional requirement to publish landlord fees, we fear that many agents will soon find themselves in hot water.
High profile cases such as Foxtons' have brought landlord fees to the attention of both the public and local councils so the spotlight is now fixed firmly on the industry.
It's a no brainer for councils and an easy way to bump up their coffers. There is no legal battle as failure to display fees is no grey area. You either do or you don't and with fines of £5,000 each, there is little chance councils will turn a blind eye for long.
Client Money Protection Schemes are still voluntary to join but agents are required by law to publish at both their premises and on their websites whether they have joined a scheme or whether they have NOT. Failure to do so also comes with a hefty fine.
The press and social media love nothing more than tarnishing the reputations of estate agents so why would you risk it?
We fully understand agents concerns about publishing all the required information but these new pieces of legislation are designed to raise standards, increase transparency and restore much needed faith in the industry.
You have nothing to fear by complying and everything to lose if you ignore your legal obligations.
Sometimes, we feel like we're boring nags, banging on and on about fees, redress schemes etc. but the bottom line is, we want you to succeed. We don't want to see you go out of business and face huge fines and bad publicity.
Our business is built on YOUR success so it is in all of our interests that you thrive and prosper. We aren't here to police you but we want you to understand the risks if you fail to comply with current legislation.