If you have any questions relating to the property market, Propertymark is the place to contact. The aim of Propertymark is to help people to buy, sell or rent their property safely and efficiently. Propertymark helps to protect and guide consumers through the confusing maze of paperwork and procedures as well as to ensure member agents are complying with the latest rules and regulations.
Propertymark was launched in February 2017 and was the combination of five different associations that were brought 'under one roof' (excuse the pun) by its formation. The five associations were ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents), NARA (Association of Property & Fixed Charge Receivers), NAVA (National Association of Valuers & Auctioneers), ICBA (Institute of Commercial & Business Agents) and APIP (Association of Professional Inventory Providers). They were all keen to promote the highest standards within the property industry and have done a great deal already to help achieve this in all areas of the sector.
Propertymark evolved because the property industry was not regulated and property buying and selling had become an unhappy and nerve-wracking experience for so many consumers across the UK. In the rental market, neither landlords nor tenants were getting the level of service that they deserved. Today, just two years later, consumers are given confidence knowing that all the property experts working with Propertymark are working to the highest standards – in fact higher than the law currently requires.
Property experts join Propertymark voluntarily to help raise the standards within the industry and also so that they can be on the cutting edge of the developments taking place within the industry. Estate agents, letting agents and auctioneers who have joined the scheme can all display the distinctive 'Propertymark Protected' logo which ensures maximum protection for their clients.
Propertymark has its own nationally recognised code of conduct and membership rules. Propertymark members must fulfil their responsibilities to retain their membership and need to comply with the Code of Practice which covers such points as having professional indemnity insurance, there in case things go wrong. All of its members must also have their own internal complaints process. If a complaint is made against them. Propertymark will investigate and if there has been a breach of conduct, the member will be given a financial penalty and in certain cases, face expulsion.
Propertymark has a wealth of information available for property sellers and has published some excellent literature as well as having plenty of information on its website. The commission charged by estate agents varies considerably and this is just one topic where Propertymark offers an in depth breakdown of charges with an explanation of how they are calculated.
There is information on the top tips for selling your house and which home improvements can add value as well as suggestions on how to choose the best estate agent for your property and ways in which the selling process can be speeded up – all essential reading!
There is a comprehensive guide from Propertymark on how to successfully rent a property – for both landlord and tenant - with information about the process for property rental with a checklist for each stage and detailed information on each stage too. There is information on what to do as your tenancy comes to an end and there is guidance on how you can get your deposit back with tips and suggestions on how to prepare your rented property for the checkout day.
Certainly with such a wealth of information for renters – many of whom are renting for the first time – Propertymark is really establishing itself as the 'first port of call' for renters seeking guidance or accurate information. On such topics as making a rented property feel like home, ways in which to ensure you have a happy house share and a students' guide to the rental market as well as articles tackling such problems as rental fraud and how to avoid it.
Propertymark is certainly gathering momentum as it promotes higher standards whilst campaigning for more laws and enforcement to regulate the sector. It holds its members accountable in order to protect consumers – and their money. The Propertymark logo is definitely one to look for because the estate agents, letting agents and auctioneers who display the 'Propertymark Protected' logo are working to the highest standards and consciously ensuring maximum protection for their clients.