Estate and Lettings Agent Records UK

Retention Rules Per Record Type

Based on Codes of Practice for members of The Property Ombudsman (TPO), there are the following guidelines:

Estate Agents:

“When you give advice to someone selling their property, any figure you advise, either as a recommended asking price or as a possible selling price must be given in good faith and must reflect available information about the property and current market conditions and must be supported by comparable evidence…Any evidence relating to comparables of similar properties in a similar location must be retained on file for future reference.”

“You must maintain records of when you issue keys and to whom, and when they are returned. These records must be kept secure and separate from the actual keys.”

“You must keep a written or electronic contemporaneous record of all offers you receive including the date and time of such offers and the seller’s response.”

Between Acceptance and Exchange of Contracts, “You must keep written or electronic records of such activity.”

“At completion, you should offer to assist with the handover of keys during your office working hours and maintain a record of what has been agreed. If the seller so requests, you must assist.”

“All verbal and written complaints must be recorded by you at the time they are made.”

“You must keep clear and full written records of all transactions for a period of 6 years and produce them when required by the Ombudsman”.

Within the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 s.54 Duty to keep records, it states: (1)A person engaged in estate agency work shall— (a)keep records for the purposes of this section (“the permanent records”); and (b)ensure that anything required by subsection (3) to be included in the permanent records is kept for a period of at least six years beginning with the day on which it is included.

Letting Agents:

“You must make sure that all the keys to a client’s property that are in your possession are coded and kept secure. You must maintain records of when you issue keys and to whom; when they are returned and by whom. These records must be kept secure and separate from the actual keys.”

“Details of all formal offers made on a property including the name of the applicant, the amount, the date and the response given should be recorded.”

“You must be diligent in verifying the identity and nationality of a successful applicant and you must retain a record of steps you have taken.”

“You must keep suitable records of repairs, maintenance etc carried out on behalf of the client and should ensure that instructions to contractors or suppliers indicate both any urgency required in carrying out jobs and, within reason, the scope or scale of the works needed.”

“You must keep records of when or if any routine visits are carried out during a tenancy; record any significant findings and be diligent in bringing such findings to the attention of both landlord and tenant, including any corrective actions suggested or required.”

“All complaints must be recorded by you at the time they are made.”

“You must keep clear and full written records of your relationship with landlords and tenants for at least 6 years. Those records must be produced when required by the Ombudsman.”

Citations and References

TPO Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents http://www.tpos.co.uk/downloads/Code%20of%20Practice%20for%20Residential%20Estate%20Agents.pdf

TPO Code of Practice for Residential Letting Agents http://www.tpos.co.uk/downloads/Code%20of%20Practice%20for%20Residential%20Letting%20Agents.pdf

Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/17

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