Latest News

Selling Tenanted Property

21 February 2020

A significant period of political uncertainty, along with changes in landlord’s taxation and legislation, has contributed to landlords selling and exiting the Private Rented Sector. However, that reduction can’t all be attributed to political and taxation changes, many landlords decide to sell to release equity. Read More...

Northern Ireland house prices end the decade showing continuous growth

19 February 2020

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency have released their findings for the Northern Ireland House Price Index for the period between October and December 2019 and show the positive figures from previous quarters have continued throughout the year. Read More...

Scotland house prices end the year over 2 per cent higher

19 February 2020

The most recent report from the Registers of Scotland has revealed the average house price for a property in Scotland during December 2019 was £151,603, an annual price increase of 2.2 per cent. Read More...

£16 million to go to survivors of domestic violence

17 February 2020

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed that 75 councils across England will benefit from funding to help boost their domestic abuse refuge services. Read More...

Christopher Pincher is tenth Housing Minister in a decade

14 February 2020

Christopher Pincher MP has been appointed Housing Minister in the cabinet reshuffle replacing Esther McVey. Mr Pincher is the MP for Tamworth and was previously the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. Read More...

MHCLG responds to business rates concerns

12 February 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has responded to Propertymark’s concerns about the level of business rates faced by agents on the high street. Read More...

Housing Secretary greenlights £1 billion support for builders

11 February 2020

Millions of pounds in new loans will be paid out to support small and medium-sized firms, the Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has confirmed in an announcement to Parliament. Read More...

Law Society Property Information updated in response to Knotweed review

11 February 2020

Propertymark is not the only organisation to have updated their documents on property information, as new guidance is issued by The Law Society. Read More...

Changes to Money Laundering Regulations for Sales Agents

Friday 10 January 2020

The Money Laundering Regulations 2019 has passed into UK law, affecting both the sales and lettings sector.

Changes for sales agents include requirements for additional ownership checks and Enhanced Due Diligence.

Letting agents which rent our property valued at 10,000 euros or more for a minimum of one month, including both residential and commercial property, are now subject to the anti-money laundering regulations.  

All new regulations must be complied with from 10 January 2020. Guidance from the Government is expected very soon. 

Beneficial Owners regulations

There is a new requirement for agents to check beneficial ownership registers before establishing a business relationship with anyone in the ownership and control structure of their customers. Agents must report to Companies House any discrepancies between what they find in their Customer Due Diligence research and what is listed on beneficial ownership registers. 

Where the beneficial owner of a company cannot be identified, estate and regulated letting agents must take steps to verify the identity of senior managing officials.

Customer risk factors and Enhanced Due Diligence 

Property agents must now carry out Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) where there is an unusual pattern of transactions, or the transaction has no apparent economic or legal purpose - not just on transactions that are complex or unusually large. 

Where there is a business relationship or transaction with a landlord or tenant from a high-risk third country, agents must now also carry out EDD and obtain additional information on:

  • The customer and customer’s beneficial owner.
  • The intended nature of the business relationship.
  • The source of funds and wealth of the customer and of the customer’s beneficial owner.
  • The reasons for the transaction.

Property agents must obtain the approval of senior management for establishing or continuing any business relationship or transaction with a landlord or tenant from a high-risk third country. 

Agents must also conduct enhanced monitoring of the business relationship, by increasing the number of controls applied and selecting patterns of transactions that need further examination.

Electronic ID methods

The regulations state that electronic identification processes are permitted where these are:

  • Independent of the person whose identity is being verified
  • secure from fraud or misuse
  • capable of providing an appropriate level of assurance that the person being checked is who they say they are.  

Sales agents who also carry out lettings

Sales agents who also carry out lettings (that will fall in the scope of the new regulations) and are already registered with HMRC, will need to inform HMRC that they carry out lettings activity. An online process to do this will be up and running in May 2020. All agents will need to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations from 10 January 2020. 

Further information regarding the changes for letting agents can be read on the ARLA Propertymark website

Quote mark

The new regulations introduced tomorrow create a level playing field in the sales and auctions market and we welcome this. The regulations have also been expanded to include the letting agency sector for high-value transactions with a monthly rent of 10,000 euros. Those letting agents who fall within the scope of regulated businesses and manage tenancies that meet the threshold will need to register for anti-money laundering (AML) supervision. Despite the HMRC’s online register not being operational until May 2020, letting agents will need to comply with the regulations from 10th January 2020 and if they’re found to be non-compliant with the regulation’s agents may face civil penalties or criminal prosecution.


However, irrespective of whether agents fall under the definition of regulated businesses with HMRC for AML supervision, Propertymark recommends it’s best practice for all letting agents to carry out Customer Due Diligence (CDD) on all their customers.

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive 

AML GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT

Read a series of FAQs on the new regulations.

FAQs  

A recording of the 10 January webinar on the Fifth Money Laundering Directive and what the changes will mean for the property sector is now available.

Webinar  

Propertymark has courses and resources to help agents understand and meet their AML obligations.

AML Courses  

Estate agencies who also handle lettings are encouraged to make sure that both sides of their business are Propertymark Protected by having both NAEA Propertymark and ARLA Propertymark membership. 

Membership