Estate agent logos

Guide to Agent Logos

Whether you’re looking to use an agent, or are currently using one, there are various legal and voluntary schemes and memberships that an agent will be part of. Some are a legal requirement, and some show they offer more protection for their clients. If they are part of a scheme or a member of a professional body, they will usually display these logos at the bottom of their webpages, on their homepage or on their ‘About us’ page. But what do these logos mean when estate and letting agents display them?

Redress schemes

All estate and lettings agents in the UK must be part of one of these Government-approved redress schemes by law.

Redress schemes exist as impartial organisations that you can complain to if your agent hasn’t resolved a complaint you have made to them. You can even be compensated in some cases.

Property Redress Scheme

The Property Ombudsman

Look for these logos on your agent’s website. If you can’t see them anywhere you should ask which scheme they belong to.

If you’re still unsure, make sure you can find the agent you’re using on the redress schemes members’ list (found on their website). If you can’t, they may be breaking the law and shouldn’t be practising.

Tenancy deposit protection schemes

All letting agents and landlords must register a tenancy deposit in one of the Government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes, by law.

If you’re under an assured shorthold tenancy (most people renting are) then the deposit you provide to your agent or landlord must be put into one of these schemes.

This ensures your deposit money is protected and won’t be taken illegally by your agent or landlord.

Tenancy deposit protection schemes

If you can’t see a logo for a tenancy deposit protection scheme on your agent’s website, or if you don’t receive assurance that your money will be put into a protection scheme through the prescribed information given to you, then whoever you’re dealing with may be breaking the law, and may be able to keep your deposit illegally.

Client Money Protection (CMP) schemes

Money Shield

If you’re using a letting or property management agent in England, Wales or Scotland they must be signed up to a client money protection scheme by law.

Professional bodies, such as Propertymark, offer client money protection as part of their membership, meaning that if your agent is part of one of these membership bodies, you will be protected. Otherwise, you may see a logo for a scheme such as Money Shield, which also protects client money.

Client money protection means that if your agent misuses your money or goes bust, you will have a route to compensation from one of the schemes.

Membership bodies

To offer their clients even more protection and to stand out from the competition, your letting or estate agent may join a membership body such as ARLA Propertymark or NAEA Propertymark. Although these aren’t legal requirements, being a member means they have proven to be following the law, qualified in their field, are part of a CMP scheme, have professional indemnity insurance, and complete 12 hours of CPD (continuing professional development) each year. They also adhere to a strict code of practice and disciplinary procedures with sanctions for those who fall below the expected standards.

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Final tips

Just because an agent displays a certain logo, doesn’t necessarily mean they belong to that scheme or organisation. Always check the official website of a scheme or organisation your agent says they are part of to check their member list.

Don’t be afraid to ask your agent if they are part of any of the legally required schemes; if they can’t give a convincing answer, then look around for an agent who you’re confident is part of the necessary schemes to protect you.

All ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark Protected agents are part of the necessary schemes, you can look for one near you with our Find an Expert tool.

 

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