ARLA > JOIN > FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can become a member? 

We offer membership at four grades: Student, Associate, Member and Fellow. The student grade is open to anyone in the UK providing they are not a Principal, Partner or Director of a property firm. The other three grades require that you are actively working as a residential letting agent.

I work for an online agency, can I join?

Yes, if you meet the entry requirements then you are able to join.

I'm a landlord, can I join?

No, landlords are not eligible to join. Individuals must be working as an agent (on behalf of a third party) in residential lettings and property management. However there are associations that exist solely for landlords.

I'm an overseas agent, can I join?

No, we solely concern ourselves with UK residential lettings and do not accept applications from overseas agents.

What are my membership obligations?

  • Complete 12 hours Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year. More info...
  • Abide by Propertymark’s Conduct and Membership Rules. More info...

What is Continuing Professional Development?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is vital to ensuring members are always up-to-date with changes to legislation and industry best practice. Members must record details of relevant events and training they’ve undertaken towards their personal development. More info...

How often do I renew my membership?

Your membership will be due for renewal annually and can be renewed online. When your membership is due for renewal you will see a notification when you log into the members' area. You will also receive an email reminder eight weeks before it expires with further reminders to follow. It is important that you keep us informed of any changes to your contact details so you do not miss out on reminders.

APPLICATION PROCESS

How much is membership?

The annual membership subscription for the Associate, Member and Fellow grade is £230.00. The membership subscription for the Student grade is £90.00. Applications are also subject to a one-off non-refundable £50.00 application fee. This fee is payable whether the application is successful or not and it is your responsibility to ensure you meet our membership criteria before completing your application.

Once I’ve completed my application how long will it take to become a member?

You can apply to become a member online or by filling out an application form. The Membership team aim to process a completed application within 15 working days. Ensuring your application is complete and that the correct payment has been made speeds up the process. You will receive an email confirming your membership prior to receiving your welcome pack in the post.

What happens if I do not provide all of the required information?

This will delay your application and you may stand to lose your non-refundable £50.00 application fee as well as your application being rejected. However the Membership team will be in touch to advise you on what you need to do in order to complete your application. 

PAYING FOR MEMBERSHIP

Are membership fees refundable?

All fees are non-refundable once an application has been approved. If an application is unsuccessful the membership subscription fee will be returned, however the one-off application fee may be retained.

Can my company pay for me?

Yes your company can pay for your membership.

Are there discounts available?

Companies that have five of more employees looking to join can set up a company invoice. This invoice will grant discounts on membership subscriptions and application fees as well as membership renewals. Employees can be added and removed from the invoice at any time during the year. The more employees on a company invoice the greater the discount. Contact the Membership team to set up a company invoice.

How do I pay for membership?

When you reach the end of the online application process you can pay via credit/debit card. Alternatively select ‘Other Payment Options’ at the bottom of the page. This will submit your application for processing and the Membership team will email you an invoice for payment. You can then pay via cheque or bank transfer, further details will be included on the invoice. Only when your application is approved and payment received will you become a member.

Can I pay by direct debit?

You cannot pay by Direct Debit for a new application. However you can set up a Direct Debit upon your annual membership renewal (a mandate is included with the renewal form).

Can I pay with a cheque from a client account?

We will not accept any payments sent from a client account.

Are membership fees tax deductible?

Yes and can be reclaimed via the company accounts or directly from HMRC.

EMPLOYEES | NOT WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY

Do I have to be qualified before I join?

You can join at the Student grade without a qualification. You will be granted membership at this level for three years whilst studying towards a relevant property qualification. Once qualified you can upgrade your membership. A major benefit of the Student grade is the discount it grants you on all Propertymark Qualifications' Workbooks. Propertymark Qualifications provide specialist, regulated property qualifications that can be completed flexibly through distance learning or supported study.

What qualifications do you accept?

We accept Propertymark Qualifications specific to residential lettings. More info...

We will also accept other comparable qualifications we deem to meet the standards required for membership. Contact the Membership team for more information. 

How can I advertise my membership?

At the Fellow and Member grades members can use the post-nominals FARLA or MARLA and display the logo. This is because the company they work for will be ARLA Propertymark Protected. Members at the Associate or Student grades can not advertise membershpi.

I want to join at the Member grade and use the post-nominals but the Principal, Partner or Director (PPD) is not a member, how can I join at the Member grade?

To join at Member grade the PPD must be a member. The Grandfathering Scheme offers business owners a route into membership without having to first become qualified. During the application process they would instead nominate you as a qualified member however you must be qualified to a minimum Level 3 standard (Level 6 for Scotland). The PPD will still be required to meet Propertymark's company obligations.

PRINCIPALS, PARTNERS AND DIRECTORS (PPDs)

Can my company join?

It is important to note that membership is awarded to you as an individual, not your company. However a company can become ARLA Propertymark Protected through your membership as the Principal, Partner or Director.

Do I have to be qualified before I join?

No, the Grandfathering Scheme offers Principal, Partner and Directors a route into membership without having to first become qualified. During the application process you would instead nominate a qualified member at your company, qualified to a minimum Level 3 standard (Level 6 for Scotland).

However if that nominated member was to leave your company you would have six months to retain your membership by either becoming qualified yourself or by getting another qualified employee into membership. We advise that you work towards the qualification yourself or ensure there is always more than one qualified person at your company.

What qualifications do you accept?

We accept Propertymark Qualifications specific to residential lettings at Level 3 (Level 6 for Scotland). More info...

We will also accept other comparable qualifications we deem to meet the standards required for membership. Contact the Membership team for more information. 

What if my company is already regulated?

If your company is regulated by RICS, The Law Society or The Law Society of Scotland you do not have to provide any further documentation relating to your company. You will only need to provide evidence that you are regulated by that organisation. However further checks may be carried out by Propertymark.

I am going to be opening my own company, can I join?

You can join once your company meets our company obligations. More info...

COMPANY OBLIGATIONS FOR PPDs

What does my company need to have in place?

When applying for membership you will need to:

  • Provide evidence that your company has professional indemnity insurance. More info...
  • Be registered with a Government approved independent redress scheme. More info...
  • Complete a Company Declaration Form. More info...

If your company handles client money or entrusts client money to a third party you must:

  • Join the Propertymark Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme. More info...
  • Have a client account set up and provide an Accountant’s Report or a client money HealthCheck for that account. More info...

It is a legal requirement for certain businesses to be registered with HMRC for Money Laundering Regulations. If this applies to your company you will also need to provide evidence of your registration with HMRC. More info...

What is professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance covers you for defence costs and damages awarded if legal action is taken against you for professional error. If your company’s total annual fee income is up to and including £150,000 the minimum limit of indemnity is £150,000. If the total annual fee income exceeds £150,000 then the minimum limit of indemnity is £500,000. Gallaghers are our official insurance brooking partner and offer members up to 20% off their professional indemnity insurance. More info...

Are other insurances accepted for membership?

No, we do not accept public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance or property insurance as they do not cover professional error. Only professional indemnity insurance is accepted.

What is an independent redress scheme?

It is a legal requirement that a letting agency belong to a Government approved independent redress scheme. Independent redress schemesoffer an impartial resolution service should a dispute arise with a tenant or landlord. More info...

What is Client Money Protection (CMP)?

CMP compensates tenants, landlords and other clients should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other funds. If your company handles client money it must belong to a CMP scheme. More info...

How do I join a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme?

Propertymark offer a CMP scheme that is accepted for membership. Applicants are required to pay the CMP annual levy and joining fee together with their membership subscription upon applying for membership. CMP is payable per firm, not per individual. If your company is regulated by RICS, The Law Society or The Law Society of Scotland you do not have to join Propertymark’s CMP scheme.

How much is it to join Propertymark’s Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme?

The CMP annual levy is currently £340. The one-off joining fee is £180.

There is a fidelity section in my professional indemnity insurance policy, do I still need CMP?

It’s common for fidelity (staff dishonesty) to be included in a professional indemnity insurance policy. However it only covers loss for the business owner/policy holder not the loss of clients’ money. Therefore you must belong to a CMP scheme.

What is an Accountant's Report?

We require that a report be carried out on a company’s designated client account, an account used solely for client money. Only reports carried out by a certified accountant of a body recognised by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will be accepted. More info...

What is a client money HealthCheck?

This is a report provided by The Letting Partnership Limited, Which you might be able to submit instead of an accountant's report, subject to eligibility criteria. It is generally cheaper than providing an accountant's report. More info...

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