A referencing company has introduced a new feature which it claims will help letting agents demonstrate compliance with The Property Ombudsman’s Code of Practice.
It follows the news that the highest award against a letting agent by TPO was to a landlord and was a result of problems with referencing by an outsourced firm.
Van Mildert has now announced the introduction of Compliance Shield, which it says creates an indelible audit trail to demonstrate that a letting agent has complied with Section 10g of TPO Code of Practice.
On completion of referencing an email is sent by Van Mildert to the landlord.
The email is co-branded as Van Mildert and the letting agent, and has a bespoke introduction from the letting agent, thanking the landlord for their business and informing the landlord of the agent’s obligations under Section 10 of the Code of Practice.
The landlord is then able to click through the email and view some information which Van Mildert have collated about the tenant, purchase a Rental Guarantee policy if they wish and then digitally sign to say that they have understood the referencing information and that they agree to moving forward with the tenant.
This creates a time-stamped audit trail demonstrating that the landlord has proactively agreed to the level of referencing and was happy with the results.
Christian Balshen, managing director of Van Mildert, said: “We found that all of our clients are aware of their obligations under Section 10 of TPO Code of Practice and indeed regularly complied.
“The problem was that many found it difficult to demonstrate an audit trail of compliance, that the landlord had received information about the referencing process and agreed to the tenant moving into their property.
“Compliance Shield completely removes this problem for the agent, logging and storing the exact time and date that the landlord agreed to move forwards with the tenant.
“The feature is free through our referencing service and is available through the software integrations we have with Reapit, Zoopla Property Services, LetMC, CML, Acquaint, Gemini, Veco, Dezrez and Gnomen.
“Initial take-up of the feature has been hugely positive.”