Latest News

Grenfell response pledges prompt improvement to building safety

23 January 2020

The UK Government’s response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 Report proposes measures to ‘go further and faster to improve the safety of residents.’ Read More...

Insurance market changes - what does this mean for UK businesses?

21 January 2020

Gallagher, insurance brokerage and risk management services firm outlines the risks they believe your business should be aware of in 2020. Read More...

Propertymark lobbies UK Government on high street business rates

20 January 2020

Propertymark expresses concerns about the level of business rates faced by agents on the high street. Read More...

Final speakers announced for NAEA Propertymark Conference

20 January 2020

Featuring a line-up of policymakers and property experts, the conference, to be held on 27 February, is set to be UK's biggest and most reputable estate agents' conference. Read More...

UK House prices rise by 0.4 per cent, Land Registry data shows

15 January 2020

House price data released by HM Land Registry shows UK house prices rose slightly between October and November 2019. Read More...

Housing Secretary commits to redress scheme for leaseholders

15 January 2020

Leaseholders will get a redress mechanism, and leasehold reform legislation is on the way, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed. Read More...

Government announces £8 million cash boost for vibrant new communities

14 January 2020

Funding of £8 million has been allocated to deliver up to 20,000 new homes in garden towns and villages, and for councils to support new neighbourhood plans. Read More...

Penny’s London Marathon run for Mencap

13 January 2020

Propertymark’s Penny Rusbridge is running the London Marathon 2020, raising money for Mencap UK, the race’s official charity. 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