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NALS referencing forum

publication date: Apr 7, 2010
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Caroline Pickering, Chair, NALSCaroline Pickering, Chair, NALS explains the importance of referencing and how this Forum will aid understanding in this complex area to help avoid unnecessary disputes.

 “The process of referencing tenants by lettings and management agents at the start of a tenancy is a key component in the rental procedure. It is clear, however, from the increasing number of complaints referred to The Property Ombudsman that the expectations and understanding of all those involved in the process; agents, landlords and tenants, vary widely.”

“It is with this in mind that we have championed this issue and partnered with The Property Ombudsman to hold a ‘first of its kind’ Forum to help bring about increased knowledge and education surrounding referencing.”

“The Referencing Forum was held on 1 March 2010 at The Lansdowne Club in London and several industry organisations including ARLA, The Guild of Letting & Management, Paragon, Homelet and Home and Legacy, attended. We feel it is important to create a collaborative industry-wide environment to ensure we really understand the challenges here and all perspectives are considered.”

 “The meeting set out the parameters for the work of the group and addressed the following elements:

clarity for tenants of what referencing involves and actually means,

clarity for landlords and agents,

consistency of the approach to referencing for tenants and service levels offered.”

Caroline Pickering points out, “The Forum did not just address referencing of mainstream tenants, it considered ways that referencing tenants moving from social housing to the PRS can facilitate greater ease of access for them to this source of accommodation.”

Christopher Hamer, The Property Ombudsman, added, “Although the tenant or landlord sees themselves dealing with a letting agent, in reality there are a number of organisations involved. The actions of all firms involved should be transparent and should follow consistent standards perhaps building on the TPO’s existing Code of Practice. The aim of the Forum was to achieve that consistency.