An historical lack of regulation in the residential leasehold management sector has meant that anybody can set up a leasehold business and hold thousands of pounds of clients’ money and with no consistency in service levels this has, in some cases, resulted in a lowering of consumer confidence when dealing with such agents.
The reality is, however, that there are many very good managing agents out there which is why the team here at Andrews Leasehold Property Management, was delighted to recently achieve the new ARMA-Q accreditation.
You could argue that membership of The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) in itself demonstrates a certain degree of responsible business practice, but there’s no harm in going that extra mile, is there? After all, that’s what we’re here to do for our clients!
Managing agents who are members of ARMA will now have to comply with a Consumer Charter and bespoke standards that raise the bar further and provide clients with the confidence that they’ll always receive a certain level of service from us.
This is of course self-regulation, but in the absence of statutory regulation it is absolutely necessary that as an industry we embrace this as a means of pushing up standards across the sector. To not achieve the accreditation simply wasn’t an option for a business like Andrews as it will increasingly become seen as THE industry benchmark.
To achieve the accreditation we had to demonstrate that we comply with over 160 rigorous industry standards, but the reassurance that this will provide to our customers cannot be underestimated. Those clients, whether in Bristol or London, Oxford or Hastings (or anywhere in between!) can be assured of the highest possible levels of professional customer care; a transparent and open service; and access to an independent regulatory panel.
Of course, we’ve always prided ourselves on delivering the very best service to our customers so in many respects this accreditation is simply an official seal of approval of what we believe has always been the case. If you’re a property investor with interests in leasehold properties you might want to ask yourself if your own managing agent would be so confident of their own service delivery – if they’re not, then is it time to find yourself a new agent?
*James Tarr is Head of Leasehold Management at Andrews Estate Agents