Incompetent Letting Agents as ARLA Members - what is the point?
Letting Agents

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5 Posts
9 years ago
What is the point of ARLA other than to allow incompetent Letting Agents to claim they are registered with a professional body?

When a Landlord has a problem with their Agents they refer to ARLA and usually end up with The Property Ombudsman Service (TPOS) who will not start arbitration until they are sure the Agent's 'Complaints Procedure' has been exhausted.

I have had several problems with a particular Agent - subscribed to ARLA. It took 22 days for them to provide a copy of their Complaints Procedure which stipulates they will reply 'within 14 working days on receipt of any complaint. However, after an exchange of four letters, all registered, with their replies posted exactly 14 working days from my registered letters being 'opened' by the Company Secretary, they stopped replying. A period of 35 days elapsed so I instigated a TPOS review and advised the Agent accordingly. They then replied and have the gaul to claim I have not exhausted their Complaints Procedure!

I have issues with the 14 working days too, as the procedure requires me to write to the Company Secretary who always extended the period of reply by claiming he did not open my letters on the dates received ( signed for) by the Agent's office. ARLA seem impotent to enforce any 'Code of Conduct' on their registered Agents even when the Agents merely copy ARLA documents from the website, stick their logo on the top and claim them as their own!

This particular Agency is guilty of not referencing the Tenant correctly, not referencing the Guarantor at all despite my request for one, holding back Housing Benefit payments received from the Council, the MD promising 3 monthly reviews of the account and then allowing 3 months to go by without any payments whatsoever from the Tenant and generally falsifying their accounts by paying historical arrears in piece meal packets over several monthly periods. The arrears for this particular Tenancy rose to an unprecedented 6 months in total. Despite all of our complaints being proven by email trails, correspondence and our own Tenant Managers Software for accounts, ARLA did ........ nothing ............ other than to ask, ........... have you exhausted the Agent's Complaints Procedure?

What is the point of ARLA if they do not monitor and maintain the professionalism of their industry?

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