As there is no mandatory regulation of estate agents in the United Kingdom, how is a buyer or renter expected to know which estate agents are qualified and fully trained? That’s where the NAEA and ARLA come in.
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
Often simply referred to by its acronym, NAEA, the National Association of Estate Agents is exactly what its name says it is. Estate agents who are voluntary registered members of this nationwide organisation pride themselves on professionalism and integrity while ensuring they guarantee consumer protection and a higher standard of service. The member estate agents should always be experienced and trained professionals who abide by a nationally recognised Code of Practice.
Anybody buying a property through a NAEA registered agent can rest assured that if any problems do arise, then their complaints will be ruled upon via an independent ombudsman service according to the regulations of the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP). Registered members also hold all the relevant insurance and protection to ensure your peace of mind throughout the move into your new home.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
ARLA is the United Kingdom’s top professional body for letting agents. Their registered members will also be trained professionals who operate at all levels of the letting agency industry including business owners to office employees. ARLA helps eliminate the problems that arise from unregistered agents who do not handle their client’s money (both landlords and tenants) in a professional manner.
ARLA say of themselves that, “ARLA Licensed letting agents hold client money in a designated client account and accounts are independently inspected annually. Consumers will receive a professional service from an ARLA Licensed agent but if things go wrong neither tenants nor landlords will be left out of pocket.”
You can rest assured that an ARLA registered letting agent will comply with the professional standards outlined in the NFoPP Conduct and Membership Rules as well as proactively demonstrating their commitment to raising standards for residential lettings, both from the perspective of the tenants and the landlords.
Again, a big plus about buying or renting through either an NAEA or ARLA registered agent is that the independent body, the NFoPP, will be the ones who investigate any complaints. So while registered members certainly intend for everything to go smoothly, when on the rare occasion it does not, there is still a safety net for the client.