Saturday, 15 June 2013

Breaches of the Money Laundering Regs due to non-registration with the OFT

It is a requirement of the Money Laundering Regs 2007 that all Estate Agents MUST be registered with the OFT for Money Laundering purposes - this requirement has been in place since 2009.

An unregistered Estate Agent is prohibited from undertaking Estate Agency business.

Many Estate Agents chose not to do so, for whatever reason, and the OFT have confirmed to us that this is a criminal offence for which the OFT has the power to prosecute and/or apply civil sanctions in the form of penalties.

In a recent small claims case, the Judge determined that failure to have registered at the point that the Agreement was signed rendered the Agreement illegal at common law and a complete defence to the claim.  Further, failure to collect photographic evidence of the signee's identity rendered the Agreement illegal by Statute, again a complete defence to the claim.

You can read the full Regulations here -

A full list of registration dates can be requested from the OFT via a Freedom of Information Act request but here are the details of just a few of the 'business sales' type Estate Agents.

Meridian - 5th April 2013
RTA (Business Consultants) Limited - 2nd November 2012
Preferred Commercial Limited - 18th February 2013

Need to check any other agent?  eMail us or make an FOI request to the OFT

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