29 December 2021

What Is ARLA Propertymark and Why Does It Matter?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty about ARLA Propertymark, first, we should fill in some blanks about the property industry and the lack of compulsory regulation.

You might be surprised to learn that regulation in the property world is entirely voluntary. There is no compulsory industry-recognised standard that all letting and sales agents adhere to. In almost every other industry, laws impose strict controls to protect consumers. 

Can you imagine the financial services industry operating without checks and balances? Or farming, or manufacturing? The public comes to expect the highest standards because of regulation. 

This is not the case with the property industry. Anyone can set up a sales or lettings agent and handle large sums of their customer’s money, with little or no recourse should something go wrong. Untrained, unchecked, untrustworthy agents can still operate within the system. 

Imagine a world where you could lose thousands of pounds with precious little room for action? That’s why ARLA Propertymark agents are rightly proud of their professional status. 

What Is ARLA Propertymark?

ARLA Propertymark is the leading membership body for property professionals. It pulls all the separate associations under one umbrella. With almost 50 years of dedicated service upholding the highest standards, these schemes have been at the forefront of consumer protection. 

 

So, who are they? 

 

  • ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents incl ARLA Inventories).
  • NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents). 
  • NAVA (National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers).
  • ICBA (Institute of Commercial and Business Agents).

Who Are ARLA Propertymark?

ARLA Propertymark consists of a board made up of industry leaders from a variety of different backgrounds. They work closely with property professionals to set industry-leading standards via accreditation, recognised qualifications and training programmes. 

 

They have a strategic vision across four pillars:

 

  • To uphold recognised industry standards.
  • To provide modern qualifications.
  • To offer value to members through benefits.
  • To be a leading industry voice to drive change. 

 

What Does ARLA Propertymark Do?

They offer guidance and advice to members on all things property-related, ensure adherence to their strict code of conduct, and enforce any compliance breaches through disciplinary action. 

They hold their members to a higher standard than current laws demand, giving you peace of mind that you are dealing with property experts who value the highest standards of conduct. In short, it is a mark of professional pride that no matter what, you are always protected. 

And why?

Because the entire scheme is voluntary, it works by garnering the collective responsibility of like-minded industry professionals to deliver service above and beyond the minimum stipulations of the law. 

Beal’s Letting Agents wholeheartedly support this drive to improve standards, increase accountability, and make the lettings industry more transparent. 

By opting in, property professionals openly agree to the scrutiny that comes with bearing the badge of such a prestigious and stringent scheme. 

It means that ARLA Propertymark, through its members, strives to increase protections for consumers through its comprehensive training programmes by promoting education and awareness within the industry.

 

Why Should This Matter to You?

Your property is one of the most precious things you own. Looking for the ARLA Propertymark guarantees that you have placed your asset in the care of the most trustworthy lettings agents in the industry. It removes the elements of uncertainty and fear. 

Trust is an important thing when entering a tenancy or renting a property. The ARLA Propertymark logo reinforces that you are dealing with a professional who prides themselves on delivering the latest guidance and advice. 

 

What Can You Expect from an ARLA Propertymark Agent?

ARLA Propertymark holds its members accountable to a strict code of practice, leaving them open to scrutiny should the need arise. It empowers you, the consumer because you are covered by the highest levels of protection and security. 

 

Here’s an at-a-glance list of benefits:

 

  • Covered by the Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme.
  • Trained property professionals who undertake regular training sessions.
  • Members join an independent scheme of redress.
  • Updated best practices and in-depth legislative changes.
  • Business is conducted at a higher level than the law dictates.
  • Nationally recognised code of practice.
  • Independently audited accounts submitted to Propertymark annually. 
  • Professional indemnity insurance included. 

 

What You Can Expect From Us

As an ARLA Propertymark member, Beal’s adhere to a strict code of conduct. It means that all client funds are held in separate bonded client accounts, which are audited annually by the independent Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme.

Your money is safe, and nothing is more important than that. Only property professionals with a sense of fair play and transparent business practices would sign up voluntarily to such a high degree of accountability. 

 

What If an Agent Isn’t a Member of ARLA Propertymark?

Firstly, all accredited members use the ARLA Propertymark logo on literature and window displays to advertise their trustworthiness. So, if you don’t see the logo displayed anywhere or the agent fails to mention ARLA Propertymark, it should be a red flag. 

Secondly, ask yourself why they wouldn’t want to hold themselves to the very highest standards? Why wouldn’t they want to be audited annually to protect the money in their client accounts? What is it they have to hide?

Thirdly, ask them directly if they are accredited with the ARLA Propertymark Scheme. If they are not members, walk away because you cannot gamble with your most precious asset. They are essentially saying they are not professional enough to withstand independent scrutiny. 

Always check before instructing your agent that they are ARLA Propertymark accredited. After all, you wouldn’t book a holiday if it wasn’t ATOL or APTA protected!

 

To Recap

ARLA Propertymark is a badge of quality. Displaying the logo tells you as a customer that you are dealing with a respected and transparent letting agent who volunteers to be scrutinised at a level way above the minimum standards of law. 

You have a system of recourse, through the consumer complaints procedure, in the unlikely event that you should need it, and most importantly, your asset is in safe hands. 

For more information, please get in touch with Beal’s for a no-obligation chat. It could be the smartest move you make. 

 

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