Compliance Requirements

Data protection

 

Data Protection

If you handle personal information about individuals, you have a number of legal obligations to protect that information under the Data Protection Act 1998.

One of the main rights, which the Data Protection Act gives to individuals, is access to their personal information. An individual can send you a request requiring you to tell them about the personal information you hold about them, and to provide them with a copy of that information. In most cases you must respond to a request within 40 calendar days of receiving it.

All public and private organisations are legally obliged to protect any personal information they hold, and may be required to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. They rule on eligible complaints, give guidance to individuals and organisations, and take appropriate action when the law is broken.

For further information click here

If you are required to register with the ICO. For small organisations the cost is £35 per annum, however this rises to £500 if your turnover exceeds £25.9 million or you employ more than 250 staff. For further information click here

Money Laundering

As of 15 December 2007 the Money Laundering Regulations came into force across the UK. The purpose of the Regulations is to detect, deter and disrupt financial crime and terrorist financing by reducing the possibility of legitimate businesses being used for money laundering.

These Regulations require certain types of business to register with the Anti-Laundering Register. Currently this affects those Relocation Companies, partnerships or sole traders who assist individuals (private clients or company employees) to purchase property. This is because property finding is classified as ‘Estate Agency Work’ under the 1979 Estate Agents Act.

It is very likely that all Relocation organisations will have to register when the Regulations are extended to cover Letting Agents and any professionals providing assistance to individuals or corporate employees in the rental of property.

HMRC has updated its Estate Agency Business guidance to:

  • Clarify when to identify and verify property buyers – to be completed before a binding contract is entered into
  • Align with the Financial Conduct Authority guidance on politically exposed persons
  • Align with the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group on simplified due diligence

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/money-laundering-regulations-2007-supervision-of-estate-agency-businesses

HMRC will continue to review content in response to feedback received from the sector.

To get instant updates about changes to the HMRC anti money laundering supervision pages on GOV.UK you can select the Subscribe to email alerts link on https://www.gov.uk/topic/business-tax/money-laundering-regulations.

For further information from the HMRC website please click here 

For the full Guidelines on Money Laundering, prepared in conjunction with the NFOPP, RICS and ARMA click here

Money Laundering
Redress obligations

Redress Obiligations

Consumer redress schemes are authorised and approved by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (“MHCLG”) and by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) to provide redress to consumers of Lettings, Property Management and Estate Agents.

This requires those engaging in ‘Estate Agency Work’ and ‘Letting and Management Work’ in respect of residential property to join an approved redress scheme. This requirement includes those working on behalf of prospective tenants. As a result all ARP Members offering property search services (for purchase or rental) must join a Redress Scheme.

Currently there are two schemes approved by MHCLG and NTSELAT:

1. The Property Ombudsman - https://www.tpos.co.uk

2. Property Redress Scheme - https://www.theprs.co.uk