With effect from the 1st October 2016, The Property Ombudsman (TPO) have produced a revised code of practice for letting agents. If you are a member of TPO, then understanding the changes will be an important part of staying compliant and protecting you and your business from claims of compensation. There are numerous minor changes but TFP would like to flag up two of the more important changes:
(2d) TPO have clarified that agents have an obligation to inform the landlord of any commission or fees earned from the tenant using a third party associate i.e. insurance. Failure to provide such information could result in such income being claimed by the landlord as their own.
(8F)TPO require agents to obtain "expressed consent" for access to the property notwithstanding any notice served as contractually required. Therefore agents will need evidence of such tenant permission before entering the property rather than relying on the common tenancy clause of entering with required notice.
to download from TPO a document which highlights the changes from the previous revision. Please ensure that you have noted the additional requirements, informed your staff and importantly have evidence to prove compliance should it ever be required.
As you maybe aware, Training for Professionals do offer a bespoke compliance audit service for lettings agents, which will test your processes and procedures for such requirements. If you are interested in such a service, please contact Alice or Darrel on 01258 85 85 85 or visit our Compliance Audit webpage