We have all at one stage or another been a tenant and we want to know that our deposit monies and the property we are going to move into is safe, this is where Cooke & Co comes in. We value our tenants and are here when things are going well and for when things go wrong.
National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
When you are looking for an agent to let or manage your property, make sure that they are members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
The NAEA is dedicated to the goal of professionalism within high street estate agency. Its aim is to reassure the general public that by appointing an NAEA member to represent them they will receive in return the highest level of integrity and service in both sales and lettings. Each NAEA member is bound by a vigorously enforced Code of Practice and adheres to professional Rules of Conduct.
Membership of the NAEA also ensures that clients are covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance and by the NAEA Clients’ Money Protection Scheme.
CLIENT MONEY PROTECTION.
What is Client Money Protection (CMP)?
CMP is a mandatory requirement for all NAEA members, at whatever grade, who are principals, partners or directors, and who deal in letting and management.
The NAEA automatically assumes that if you are involved in letting and management, then you are holding clients’ money. This may be landlords’ money – eg rents received which will be passed on to them; or tenants’ money – eg deposits. The money may only be held by you for a short time – nevertheless you are still holding clients’ money and should therefore have a clients’ account.
The NAEA scheme is designed to reimburse clients of members who have suffered financial loss due to the dishonesty of the member and/or their firm. The NAEA have given a ‘promise’ to clients of NAEA members that, up to pre-set limits, they will make reimbursement for such losses. The NAEA have therefore taken out an insurance policy to these same pre-set limits to cover the risk that they have assumed in the ‘promise’ to the clients of members. The only party insured under this policy is the NAEA.
For the scheme to operate successfully, it is a requirement of NAEA membership that participating members involved in letting and management already hold Professional Indemnity insurance (PI), simply because PI insurance would be the first port of call should there be any claims.
The rule regarding client money is contained in the NAEA Rules of Conduct (Rule 1). These can be found on the NAEA website under the ‘Policy and Standards’ heading.
Ombudsman for Estate Agents Scheme (OEA)
By choosing an agent who belongs to the Ombudsman Scheme for Estate Agents, you can be assured of the following: OEA Scheme Members agree to abide by the OEA Code of Practice. This sets out a framework within which Members must operate and sets the standards of service they should provide.
The Code is mandatory and rigorously enforced. Compliance levels and consumer satisfaction are closely monitored. If things go wrong, and you have a dispute with a Member Agency, you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman for resolution. The Ombudsman is completely independent of the Member Agencies, and will provide a free, fair and speedy review of complaints falling within his Terms of Reference.
Member agencies agree to co-operate with the Ombudsman and to abide by any decisions that the Ombudsman comes to. Any financial award that the Ombudsman makes in your favour is binding.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents (TDSRA)
Membership of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDSRA) gives assurance to the tenants that they are dealing with a reputable company and reputable landlords! You may have heard many stories or even experienced nightmare stories of rogue landlords and agent keepings deposits unfairly.
What is it?
The TDSRA has been developed to ensure that deposits held by regulated Agents are protected, and that disputes about their return are resolved quickly, inexpensively and impartially. Under the scheme, deposits will be protected during the tenancy and returned promptly at the end where there is no dispute. In the event of a dispute, the return of the deposit will be dealt with fairly by an Independent Complaints Examiner (ICE) who acts as a third party independent adjudicator and who will make their decision quickly and with no unnecessary delays.
Under new legislation, due to be implemented in October 2006, it will be illegal for an agent or landlord to hold a tenants deposit unless they are members of a scheme such as the TDSRA.
The scheme is only available to Regulated Agents who are members of an approved body and covered by a recognised bonding scheme which protects and insures money held on behalf of Landlords and Tenants.
At Cooke & Co we offer this service free to our landlords and tenants.
As you can see, integrity is core at Cooke & Co because we believe it matters