Latest News

Keeping your business running during the Coronavirus pandemic

09 April 2020

Agents may be wondering how best to keep the cash flowing, cut costs and get their business ready for a return to the new normal. There are a number of steps managers and business owners can take to keep their business in good shape during this time of economic and general uncertainty. Read More...

Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 stakeholder guidance

08 April 2020

The emergency legislation introduced by the Scottish Government and passed by the Scottish Parliament received Royal Assent on 6 April 2020. To coincide with it’s passing into law the Scottish Government has released a guidance document that outlines key measures contained within the Act. Read More...

Propertymark campaign leads to commission included in furloughed pay

06 April 2020

Government has amended the eligibility criteria following Propertymark's campaign for agents' commission payments to be included in claims for Furloughed Pay. Read More...

Landlord Income Tax Relief fully phased in

06 April 2020

At the Summer Budget 2015, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced that the amount of Income Tax relief landlords can get on residential property finance costs will be restricted and gradually reduced from April 2017 until April 2020. Read More...

Changes to Money Laundering Regulations for property auctioneers

Monday 17 February 2020

The Money Laundering Regulations 2019 passed into UK law on 10 January 2020, which include requirements for additional ownership checks and Enhanced Due Diligence.

Letting agents which rent our property valued at 10,000 euros or more for a minimum of one month, including both residential and commercial property, are now subject to the anti-money laundering regulations. 

All new regulations must be complied with from 10 January 2020. Guidance from the Government is expected very soon.

Beneficial Owners rules

There is a new requirement for property auctioneers and sales agents to check beneficial ownership registers before establishing a business relationship with anyone in the ownership and control structure of their customers.

Property professionals must report to Companies House any discrepancies between what they find in their Customer Due Diligence research and what is listed on beneficial ownership registers.

Where the beneficial owner of a company cannot be identified, property agents and auctioneers must take steps to verify the identity of senior managing officials.

Customer risk factors and Enhanced Due Diligence

Property agents and auctioneers must now carry out Enhanced Due Diligence where there is an unusual pattern of transactions, or the transaction has no apparent economic or legal purpose - not just on transactions that are complex or unusually large.

Where there is a business relationship or transaction with a landlord or tenant from a high-risk third country, agents must now also carry out EDD and obtain additional information on:

  • The customer and customer’s beneficial owner.
  • The intended nature of the business relationship.
  • The source of funds and wealth of the customer and of the customer’s beneficial owner.
  • The reasons for the transaction.

Property professionals must obtain the approval of senior management for establishing or continuing any business relationship or transaction with a landlord or tenant from a high-risk third country.

Property agents and auctioneers must also conduct enhanced monitoring of the business relationship, by increasing the number of controls applied and selecting patterns of transactions that need further examination.

Electronic ID methods

The regulations state that electronic identification processes are permitted where these are:

  • Independent of the person whose identity is being verified
  • Secure from fraud or misuse
  • Capable of providing an appropriate level of assurance that the person being checked is who they say they are.