The Independent Network of Estate Agents.
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Official Bodies

Official Bodies
UK estate agency and lettings are regulated and policed by government approved officials. Consumer protection is dealt with by Trading Standards, whilst money laundering is dealt with by HMRC. Unfair market trade is investigated by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) who create fair trade industry policy and step in on cartels and unfair industry restraints.

Agents are required by law to be members of one of the government approved Consumer Redress Schemes as offered by: Ombudsman Services, (TPOS) The Property Ombudsman Scheme and (PRS) The Property Redress Scheme. Only then may an agent lawfully trade.

Before laws and regulations are passed, officials such as BIS (Business Innovations and Skills), HMRC, CMA and Trading Standards run many consultations of which INEA is often invited to give views and industry opinions on behalf of the independent estate agency sector.
      Government & Industry Regulators
Trading Standards 

(National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team)         
link   The National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) deal with the enforcement role of estate agents. Trading standards officers around the UK conduct investigations into breaches and will take whatever action they deem appropriate, including possible prosecution of offences under regulation.

Trading Standards business advice is available from the national Trading Standards website and is also available from your local Trading Standards Service website.  General business advice is available from
Competition and
Markets Authority

Notify the CMA about anti-competative market issues
 link   The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA). Unfair market trade is investigated by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) who create fair trade industry policy and step in on cartels and unfair industry restraints.

This link gives examples of CMA investigations and findings in relation to property sales and lettings, probe into adverting fees, suspected fraud, objections to cartels and groups/associations of agents etc. ...

There is a useful set of short animated videos on anti-competitive practices such as price fixing worth watching: Animations here 

Further information about the CMA can be found here:



On 1 April 2014 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) became the supervisor of Estate Agency Businesses under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

  • AML Supervision: Estate Agency Businesses: link 
    (sub-agent references: 4.23 - 4.31 - 9.5) interim guidance  published June 2017 - to be updated later 

  • Money Laundering Regulations: link

  • REPORT A SAR: here
    (Suspicious Activity Report)

  • Agents registering and renewing Anti Money Laundering Supervision with HMRC. To do online agents need a Government Gateway Account linked to their Corporation OR Self-Assessment account:  link here   
Valuation Office Agency link  

Developing Statistics for the private rented sector

The rental information collected by VOA Rent Officers for their statutory Local Housing Allowance work is also used to build a unique statistical resource for the Private Rented Sector (PRS). The VOA Private Rental Market (PRM) offical statistics present a snapshot of the mean, median, lower quartile, and upper quartile gross monthly rent paid for a number of bedroom categories for each local authority in England.

      Other Government Bodies & Regulators    
DCLG link    

The Department for Communities and Local Government's job is to create great places to live and work, and to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area.

DCLG is a ministerial department, supported by 11 agencies and public bodies.      Read more about what DCLG does 

National Trading Standards link   National Trading Standards was set up in 2012 by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape. Our role is to provide leadership, influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment nationally, regionally and locally. We bring together trading standards representatives from England and Wales to prioritise, fund and coordinate national and regional enforcement cases    
BEIS link   Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that plans upgrades to the UK energy infrastructure and increase clean energy investment    


      Official Redress Schemes    
Ombudsman Services
link   Approved by the Office of Fair Trade (OFT) as an estate agent redress scheme. On 1 April 2014, we were appointed by the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) to provide redress to its members. We are also the preferred redress scheme for the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  

The Property Ombudsman
link   Approved by the Office of Fair trade (OFT) as an estate agent redress scheme. The UK's largest property redress scheme, TPO operates an independent dispute resolution service for member agents and consumers. More than 11,000 lettings offices have already voluntarily registered with TPO and follow the scheme's unique Code of Practice.

The Property Redress Scheme

“The Property Redress Scheme is a government-authorised consumer redress scheme that offers an escalated complaints process to customers of Members of the scheme. All Property Agents that carry out Estate, Lettings and Property Management Work, as defined by legislation, must join a government authorised consumer redress scheme as of 1st October 2014.

We are authorised by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to offer redress to Lettings and Property Management Agents and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (formally the OFT) to offer redress to Estate Agents.” 

      Client Money and
Deposit Protection
My Deposits link  

In April 2007, the UK Government appointed mydeposits to operate a tenancy deposit protection scheme. mydeposits is the trading name of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd. mydeposits is jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and Hamilton Fraser Insurance. Hamilton Fraser Insurance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Client Money Protection

Client Money Protect (CMP) is a client money protection Membership designed to protect client money held by Property Agents and Professionals. The Member’s clients are protected in the event that the Member misappropriates the client money held in the course of running their business. All Property Agents and Professionals can apply to become Members. The application process requires the completion or an application form and a client money questionnaire. Provided the applicant passes both and pays the Membership fee they can then become a Member. There is an annual renewal.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme in England and Wales operated by The Dispute Service Ltd. TDS is the only not for profit scheme, and we use our surpluses to continue improving our already multi-award winning service.

The Housing Act 2004 requires landlords and letting agents to protect deposits on assured shorthold tenancies in a scheme such as ours. We provide insurance backed tenancy deposit protection with free, impartial dispute resolution for when disagreements arise over how the money is divided. 

Deposit Protection Service
link   The DPS protect deposits for tenancies in England and Wales. For properties in other jurisdictions, please refer to local statutes for guidance on tenancy deposit protection requirements and authorised providers. The scheme is free of charge. DPS hold the tenant’s deposit throughout the period of the tenancy, repaying it when they leave the property.

DPS's Insured scheme is a little different – where, the landlord retains the tenant’s deposit for the period of the tenancy and pay us a small fee to protect it. You manage the deposit repayment when your tenant leaves the property.

Lonsdale Insurance
Client Money protection
link   Client Money Protection    
      Independent Advertising Redress    
Advertising Standards Authority
link   The Advertising Standards Authority is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media. They apply the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice. Our work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements.  

The Independent Network of Estate Agents Limited (also known as INEA, INEAmls and  INEAmls idx) is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 07948668.    
Registered office:  Grove House, 56 Romney Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 ORR  01233 633633   Trademark 2503458 INEA


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