HM Revenue & Customs officers are paying short-notice visits on letting and estate agents to check on their anti-money laundering compliance, it’s been claimed.
A statement from rental industry suppliers HomeLet and Let Alliance suggests that checks and inspections on the lettings sector are now increasing.
Compliance consultant Malcolm Driscoll says: “The publication of the Pandora Papers, recent penalties imposed by AML supervisors of the regulated sectors and the increase of checks being undertaken on the competency and compliance of businesses has been a stark wake-up call to anyone working in the property industry.
“HMRC continues to make their inspections – often at short notice - of businesses they supervise; businesses that are at risk from criminal activity and money laundering.”
And a HomeLet spokesperson adds: “We’ve had lots of letting agents raise concerns about AML regulations. Being a letting agent is complicated enough.”
All letting agents in the UK who meet the definition of letting agency activity and the rent thresholds must register with HMRC and follow anti-money laundering regulations, which were recently updated by HM Treasury and can be found here.
It’s next week on January 26 at 10 am, hosted by FCS Compliance; it will cover HMRC visits to letting agents and how businesses can ensure that they’re prepared for these checks.
Agents interested in the seminar can register here.