base is a member of the UK’s leading estate agents & letting agents associations and organisations, including ARLA, TPOS and more. So in a largely unregulated industry, you can be assured you are dealing with an experienced and professional agent.

ARLA - Association of Residential Letting Agents

You can be sure you are dealing with an agent who provides comprehensive and professional services, by choosing an ARLA member.

Membership of the Association is through formal qualification ensuring that ARLA member agents have the knowledge and experience to guide you through your property transaction as smoothly and painlessly as possible. Operating under strict rules of conduct, members must meet certain standards relating to professional and ethical practice. Under the rules, agents are required to protect and promote their client’s interests, while at all times acting in a fair and proper manner. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer at the hands of malpractice by an ARLA letting agency, the Association can take disciplinary action on your behalf. You are better protected and will get higher standards from ARLA members! ARLA is part of NFOPP - National Federation Of Property Professionals.

Key Benefits of using an ARLA Licensed Member:

  • Client Money Protection Scheme (CMP)
  • Industry Specific Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Highly trained & qualified staff
  • Detailed Code of Practise & Rules of Conduct
  • Redress route via TPOS (see below for more information)

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TPOS - The Property Ombudsman Scheme

The Property Ombudsman provides a free, fair and independent service for dealing with unresolved disputes between sales and letting agents who have joined the TPO and consumers who are actual or potential buyers or sellers or landlords or tenants of residential property in the UK. The Ombudsman is a member of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association and follows the standards and rules of the Association. The Ombudsman is totally independent of agents and reports directly to the TPO Council which has a majority of non-industry members.

The Ombudsman’s role is to reach a resolution of unresolved disputes in full and final settlement and, where appropriate, he will make an appropriate award of financial compensation or other action for example make an apology. Therefore, if you feel that you have been disadvantaged by the actions or inactions of a TPO member, you have access to an independent dispute resolution service and can be certain of receiving a fair and reasonable judgment of your complaint.

By dealing with a Member of the TPO, the public may be confident about the agent’s approach in its dealings with actual and potential buyers and sellers of residential property or lettings in the UK.

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SAFE – Safeagent Fully Endorsed – is a mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through client money protection schemes. There are several schemes* in the sector operated by ARLA/NFOPP, the Law Society, NALS and RICS to which agents voluntarily belong. The scope of these schemes varies and you should contact your agent for full details of the scheme of which they are a part.

Landlords and tenants often make decisions based on cost but it is important to ensure you ask your agent for details of the organisation they are regulated by and whether or not they are covered by a client money protection scheme. All agents regulated by ARLA/NFOPP, the Law Society, NALS and RICS maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where your money is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm. If the agent you are using cannot provide you with the assurance of knowing they are covered by a client money protection scheme the question you need to ask is why not?

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TDS - The Dispute Service

Many tenants in the private sector give their landlords a deposit against possible non- payment of rent or damage to property. When a tenancy comes to an end, there is usually no disagreement about the return of the deposit. But sometimes there is, and this can cause much hardship and inconvenience to both landlord and tenant.

The Housing Act 2004 (Chapter 4, sections 212-5; & Schedule 10) made provision for both the protection of tenancy deposits and the resolution of disputes over their return. The Dispute Service has been awarded a contract by the Government to run one such scheme: The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

The legislation came into effect on 6 April 2007. After that date all deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has been developed to ensure that the deposits are protected and that disputes about their return are resolved swiftly, inexpensively and impartially.

Under TDS:

  • Deposits will be protected during the tenancy.
  • Where there is no dispute at the end of the tenancy, deposits will be returned promptly.
  • Where there is a dispute about the return of the deposit it will be dealt with fairly by the Independent Case Examiner (ICE).
  • The ICE will make his decision quickly, and the deposit will be paid out without unnecessary delay.

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