The Real Estate Encyclopedia
Official bodies of note
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Unlike the sales sector, the lettings market is a largely unregulated one - meaning that landlords and tenants have to be picky with the company they decide to give their business to. Finding a reputable letting agency can mean the difference between a smooth process and one that could be mired in trouble and expense.

Despite being unregulated by the government, there are a number of other official bodies which letting agents can sign up to in order to show they are playing by best-practice guidelines and following the rules where possible.

With these around, it's certainly worth finding out which regulatory bodies exist, then questioning your letting agent to make sure they are members.


ARLA is one of the most well-known and widely-recognised bodies in the industry. ARLA (which is an acronym for the Association of Residential Letting Agents) is the one name that most tenants look for when finding a reputable letting agent. Formed in 1981, the association has for the last three decades set out rules and regulations the industry should adhere to. It now has 6,000 individual members and has established itself as the benchmark for all others to follow.

The Property Ombudsman

A much newer institution, the Ombudsman has been around for fewer than five years but has made a great deal of impact in that time. The Ombudsman acts as a mediator in debated between landlords, tenants and letting agents. If either party has a complaint, they can seek out the Ombudsman for free, impartial and independent advice. It can deal with unresolved or ongoing disputes and work to find a resolution.

Whilst these can only be taken as a guideline, knowing the official bodies on the market, understanding what they do then ensuring your letting agent of choice is a member will better guarantee the letting process goes smoothly.

About the author:
Stephen Dedalus started his career as market analyst and has worked for many companies for the last 5 years. After a long gap he has started sharing his experience with his readers and has written many articles on Letting agents.

Real Estate Information Sources - Real Estate Articles
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