Estate and Letting Agents – Know your Customer. A Refresher.

All estate and letting agents are subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (as amended). This means that you have to obtain and hold identification and proof of address for all customers (buyers or sellers, tenants or landlords). Additionally, you are also required to establish whether there are any beneficial owners on whose behalf the transaction or activity is taking place. Therefore, you should request your customer to identify anyone who you would consider to be a beneficial owner. Where appropriate, the source or destination of funds may also be requested and we deal with the requirements under the January 2020 regime in our next blog. 

Without this information you will be unable to proceed with any work on your customer’s behalf.

Below is a list of acceptable identity documents. Originals or certified copies should be provided by the customer. 

Individual identity documents

You should obtain one document from List A and one document from List B.

LIST A – IDENTITY DOCUMENT

  • Current signed passport
  • Valid UK driving licence
  • EEA member state identity card

LIST B – PROOF OF ADDRESS

  • UK/EU/EEA Drivers Licence (if UK Drivers Licence not used as ID)

Must be valid, not expired. Photo only. Full or provisional.

  • Bank, Building Society or Credit Union Statement

Dated with 3 months. Must include account number and show recent activity. No general correspondence.

  • Credit Card Statement

Dated within 3 months. Must include account number and show recent activity. No general correspondence.

  • UK or EEA Mortgage statement

Dated within 12 months. Must show account number. No general correspondence.

  • Utility Bill

Dated within 6 months for example gas, electricity, water. Must show address for service and/or account number. No general correspondence or pay as you go mobile telephone bills should be accepted.

  • Telephone Bill

Dated within 6 months for example landline or mobile pay monthly (excluding pay as you go). Must show address for service and/or account number. No general correspondence.

  • Council Tax

Dated within 12 months. Must show address for service and/or account number. No general correspondence.

  • Tenancy Agreement

Dated with 12 months. Must state full name and full property address and be issued by the local council, a housing association, solicitor or reputable letting agent.

  • Benefits Entitlement Letter

Dated within 12 months. Issued by DWP or Jobcentre plus. Must confirm benefit payable at time of issue. For example, pension, disability, single parent, housing etc.

  • HMRC Tax Notification

Dated with 6 months. Must state national insurance number and tax calculation. No general correspondence.

  • Home or Motor Insurance Certificate

Dated within 12 months. Must state insured address or registered address for vehicle and policy number. No general correspondence.

  • UK solicitors letter confirming house purchase or property registration

Dated with 3 months. Must state full name of new proprietor and full property address.

  • NHS Medical Card or letter from GP confirming registration

Dated within 3 months. Must state individual’s date of birth and NHS number. No general correspondence.

  • Official confirmation of Electoral Register entry or official poll card

Dated within 12 months. Must state full name and full address. No general correspondence.

  • Police Registration Certificate

Dated within 12 months. Must state the full residential address of the individual.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Probate

If you are acting as a Representative of an Estate you should obtain the following:

  • Grant of Probate (if a will was left)
  • Letter of administration (if no will left)
  • Individual identity evidence from List A & B for the Personal Representative, either executor or administrator

Trust

If you are acting as a Representative of a Trust you should obtain the following:

  • Trust deed
  • List of trustees
  • List of beneficiaries
  • Individual Identity evidence from List A & B for all individuals with a vest interest in 25% or more of the capital and/or those who exercise control over the Trust

Limited company

If you are acting as a Representative of a UK registered Company you should obtain the following:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Articles of Association
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Latest Annual Return or Confirmation Statement, with details of current company officers
  • If offshore, nominee director declaration and a general power of attorney
  • Individual identity evidence from List A and B for all individuals or entities with 25% or more of the shares or voting rights in the company

If you are acting as a Representative of an Offshore Company you should obtain the following:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Articles of Association, Memorandum of Association, Latest Annual Return with details of current company officers, Share Certificate(s) showing the Ultimate Beneficial Owner OR
  • Certificate of Incumbency
  • If the shares are owned by another company, repeat steps above for the holding company
  • Nominee director declaration and/or general Power of Attorney (if applicable)
  • Individual identity evidence from List A and B for all individuals or entities with 25% or more of the shares or voting rights in the company

For how long should you retain the information?

The information should be kept for a period of six years from the date of instruction, tenancy or offer depending on the circumstances.


Alexander JLO solicitors have years of expertise of dealing with than advising Agents as to their regulatory requirements. Should you wish to discuss this or any matter in relation to conveyancing, please do not hesitate to contact one of our expert property team to see what we can do for you.

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