“Hey Smudge… what are you doing there buddy?”
“Excuse me, Ted. I’d prefer if you referred to me by my royal name Sir Pendleton Ernest Smudge IV.”
“Ooookay. Well I see you’ve got yourself a pretty lavish new dog bed. Red velvet and gilded throne decor, very classy.”
“Yes, well my royal fur deserves the finest. You wouldn’t believe how easy it was to trick Fido into letting me borrow his great dane sized bed with just a few cardboard tubes and duct tape!”
“I bet you looked the real deal Smudge. How much did he charge you to borrow it from him? It’s taking up most of the room.”
“Well, I had to lay out a pretty hefty dog treat deposit but I’ll definitely be getting it back once I’m done with this whole royal thing I’m doing. I’m sure it’s in safe hands with him.”
“Uhhh, Sir Smudge? I’m pretty sure I saw Fido eating his body weight in treats yesterday… ”
“What?? Fetch me my robe I’ll be having words with him!”
“If only you’d taken a leaf from Maxine Lester’s book and checked that Fido was securing your deposit in the right way… Did you know that he should have been a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, ARLA and the Property Ombudsman so that your deposit would be safe and secure?”
“Don’t rub it in Ted, hindsight is 20/20, prepare the limousine and find me my sceptre!”
You may have seen a lot of articles in the local news these last few weeks about the unfortunate situation of a letting agent in Newmarket closing his office doors and disappearing. This has left a lot of people without their rental security deposits, because they have not been protected correctly.
I am sure that if an agency has been in business for a long time, people will generally make the assumption that they do everything by the books and there is no need to double check accreditations or processes. Sadly, that is not the case. Quite often it is the old-school agencies who are not properly complying with the law, or maybe they just carry on doing things as they always have, without even realising they are breaking the law.
So when you are considering either renting out your property or looking for a property to rent, PLEASE ensure you ask your agent how they treat client money – be it rent collected, security deposits, floats for maintenance or any money they hold on behalf of someone else. It is the law that client money is protected in a ring-fenced account and you can be assured of this if you see the ARLA licensed sign in the agency. Always worth checking their certificate, these are issued annually, so it needs to be in date! Maxine Lester is accredited with ARLA and SafeAgent, so you are assured of the safety of all client money, in fact, it is 100% protected by a bond if anything happens to the company.
All letting agents must belong to a REDRESS scheme are this is the logo for the Property Ombudsman Scheme which Maxine Lester belong to. It means that if you have a complaint against us, once you have gone through the internal procedure, you have an external person to adjudicate the issue.
And all of our tenants’ deposits are held in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which means that they are protected within 30 days of receipt into our account and that you have an independent case examiner to handle any disputes at the end of the tenancy.
So just remember to check and double check BEFORE you rent out a property, either as a Landlord or a Tenant. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to give us a call on 01480 494939.