Jailed letting agent ‘faked ARLA membership’
It’s now been revealed that a letting agent jailed for defrauding money from landlords also falsely claimed to be a member of ARLA. Roy Jackson, who ran Suffolk Lettings in Ipswich, was jailed for 20 months after fleecing clients of £68,000.
The judge said: “Should the Association of Letting Agents [sic] have certified you? Probably not.”
However, it now turns out that ARLA never had “certified” Jackson at all.
In a statement to Letting Agent Today, ARLA says:
“ARLA can confirm that Roy Jackson is not, and never has been, a member of ARLA. Although Roy did attempt to gain ARLA membership, he never passed the examination process and therefore did not receive the qualification level required for membership. Despite this, it seems that unfortunately Roy Jackson has falsely been trading as an ARLA agent, when he is in fact not. This would explain why his tenants’ and landlords’ money was not secure – ARLA agents are covered by a Client Money Protection Scheme, and also a mandatory redress scheme which gives the consumer an added level of protection when something, such as this, goes wrong.”
ARLA says this is also the reason that it wasn’t able to warn landlords; as Jackson was not an official member, the association was unaware of his activities.
ARLA’s statement continues: “The case of Roy Jackson reiterates the need for regulation within the property sector. The industry is currently not regulated; anyone is able to open trade as a lettings agent or landlord, which clearly presents a number of risks as highlighted by this case, whereby thousands of pounds worth of customers money has been stolen. If the industry was fully regulated, Roy would never have been able to abscond with this money.”