Every year, unlicensed agents cause Britain's landlords and tenants unnecessary stress and hassle - and sometimes loss of money - by giving incorrect or misleading advice or offering poor standards of customer service.

The Property Ombudsman has reported a considerable increase in complaints against letting agents this year. Landlords and tenants can secure protection and peace of mind by using an Licensed ARLA Agent.

By using a Licensed ARLA agent you are guaranteed:

  • That the agency is covered by our Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.
    • The ARLA have the ability to make discretionary grants (up to pre-set limits) if you suffer financial loss due to the bankruptcy or dishonesty of the member and/or their firm...
  • That the agency has Professional Indemnity Insurance.
    • This ensures you are financially covered for successful claims relating to members' negligence, bad advice or mishandling of data...
  • To be consulting with a qualified and trained agent who can give you professional up-to-date advice and guidance.
    • All our members are required to carry out at least a minimum level of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) each year and many do more.
  • That you are dealing with an agent who voluntarily follows the Code of Practice and Rules of Conduct laid down by their professional body.
    • If an agent does not follow the code, they can be fined or in the worst cases expelled from membership of ARLA. Our disciplinary process includes everything from cautions and warnings right through to more severe penalties of up to £5000 for each rule breached. You can be sure that the highest standards are upheld by our members.
  • That you have a route to redress should something go wrong.
    • It is a mandatory requirement that all our members belong to an independent redress scheme, such as the Property Ombudsman. This gives you the consumer an added level of protection. The Property Ombudsman can award payments of up to £25,000

As a member of the public:

You can be sure you are dealing with an experienced and professional agent, 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 agent, the Association can take disciplinary action on your behalf.

You are better protected and will get higher standards from ARLA members, and Sawyer & Co are proud to be a Licensed ARLA Agent!