New anti-money laundering regulations for agents
For many years now, estate agents have been one of the businesses required to register with HM Revenue & Customs for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) supervision and make certain checks on their customers. Letting agents did not fall under the scope of the regulations.
How we work
As an estate agency, Your Move was already registered with HM Revenue & Customs for Anti-Money Laundering supervision. While our lettings business wasn’t registered, we have carried out Customer Due Diligence on our customers as a matter of best practice for many years now. Put simply, we have always done as much as we can to ensure that our customers are not letting or renting for any illegal purpose and that any money used to own property, maintain it and pay rent come from legally acceptable sources.
The new rules for lettings agents
As of 10th January this year, any UK letting agent managing properties (residential or commercial) that yield an income of 10,000 Euros or more per month must comply with updated money laundering regulations, under the 'Fifth Money Laundering Directive'
Agents handling these higher value rentals must now:
- Register for Anti-Money Laundering supervision by HM Revenue & Customs and renew their registration annually
- Put in place written systems and procedures to:
- Identify risks of money laundering or terrorist financing activities
- Manage and lessen those risks
- Appoint a nominated officer who will be responsible for the letting agency complying with regulations
- Carry out Customer Due Diligence (CDD) checks on any new tenants and landlords involved in a let where the monthly rent is equivalent to 10,000 Euros or more
- If the tenant or landlord is a company, trust or similar legal entity, take reasonable measures to:
- Understand the ownership and control structure
- Obtain information on the intended nature of the business relationship
- Identify the source of funding and wealth
- Carry out appropriate checks on both parties if an existing tenancy is renewed after this date
- From May, register with the online system being set up by HM Revenue & Customs
To make sure your agent is operating to the highest industry standards, check that they:
- Are a member of on the three self regulatory industry bodies: ARLA Propertymark, UKALA & RICS
- Have Client Money Protection (CMP) in place
- Are registered for Anti-Money Laundering supervision with HM Revenue & Customs
If you’d like to know more about the checks we carry out at Your Move, call your local branch and one of the team will be happy to talk though our processes.