Word Worker press release

An independent letting agency in Wiltshire, whose owner is calling for the rental sector to be regulated, has been awarded membership of its professional body.

mlettings’ owner and managing director Martin West, a champion of regulation for the sector, believes mlettings is the largest independent letting agency in the area to hold the prestigious Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) membership.

The Cricklade-based company had to undergo a rigorous inspection of all its processes and Martin had to pass National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) examinations before he and mlettings were invited to join ARLA, the leading professional body for the rental sector.

“We’re delighted to have achieved the ARLA membership, as it’s an endorsement of the high level of service we provide for our landlords and their tenants,” he said. “We specialise only in lettings – we’re not an estate agency – which makes us real experts in the rental sector.”

mlettings was founded 14 years ago and operates with a dedicated team of five from offices in Cricklade High Street. The company deals with residential rentals in the Swindon, Chippenham and Cirencester area.

Martin, who has been a landlord himself since 1987, is a firm believer in bringing regulation into the rental sector to protect landlords and tenants.

“We are lucky in Wiltshire and the Cotswolds, as Swindon, Cirencester and the surrounding area are very well served with quality letting agents, doing a good job for their clients,” said Martin. “But the sector is completely unregulated and this needs to change. By joining ARLA we are also joining its campaign to bring in legislation to the sector.”

Currently, only ARLA licensed agents and some National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) agents are required to join the Client Money Protection scheme, which is designed to protect client money held by property agents. Martin would like to see this imposed on the sector as a whole.

He said: “We have a huge shortfall in the housing stock in this country, and it is the private rental sector which is filling this gap for the Government. I am sure in the next two to three years with the support of other responsible letting agents and national legislation, regulation will come into the sector to make it safer for landlords and tenants. Then everyone will have to follow the example of those agents – like the team here at mlettings – who are offering a quality, professional service.”