The Smallest Attentions Will Gain You Greater Credibility
Best Practice Taking of id
It is imperative that Agents protect themselves by ensuring they have identified all parties entering into a tenancy agreement. We have all heard stories of cases where a tenant or family member has let a property without the knowledge of the rightful owner and unlike the sale of a property this is very easy to do, there are no searches involved, usually no solicitors either, it is therefore down to the vigilance of the agent to ensure that he is working with a bonafide client. The repercussions can be far reaching if you get it wrong.
Landlords and Tenants are required to provide proof of identification, appropriate proof would be:
Copy of passport or
Copy of photographic portion of UK driving licence
Copy of a current utility or council tax bill or
Copy of current bank statement
With regard to the Landlord you will also need to ensure that your agreement includes a request for confirmation that he/they are to enter into a letting agreement on the property. Should you have any suspicions you should not proceed without written proof
The most effective and easy way to obtain this information is to ask the Landlord to ensure that he has photocopies of all ID available at the take on. This is all part of showing your prospective client how professional you are, as this will give them the comfortable thought that, if you take this much care in proving who they are, how much care you must take in doing this with their tenants.
There are many reasons why you are required to take a tenant's ID, money laundering regulations to name just one.
As a good employer no member of staff should leave the office to meet an applicant without you knowing exactly whom they are meeting. Best practice is to ask the applicant to meet you at the office the first time you show them property and at that point they should provide proof of identity.
This also means that when they make an offer on a property you already have this information and there is no delay in moving forward with documentation.
You should make it clear to all parties that in the even they do not do business through you, their documentation can be returned to them or you will arrange to have it be securely destroyed.