Agents warned that new anti-money laundering requirements drawing nearer

Agents are reminded that the clock is ticking towards a new anti-money laundering regime that will affect both sales and lettings.

It is set to ensure that both lettings and sales agents will have to make anti-money laundering checks on sellers and buyers, and on tenants and landlords, from the end of June.

The checks, including on where both sides of transactions get their cash together with ID checks, are being brought in under European legislation.

It has not been clarified whether the new regime will have a retrospective element, whereby checks will also have to be made on existing landlords and tenants.

Concerns are also being raised as to how agents will deal with the extra costs involved in making the checks.

Compliance expert Mike Day, who runs courses for agents on anti-money laundering, said: “The 4th Money Laundering Directive is due to become law from June 26.

“Whilst we await the final detail, it is odds on to widen the customer due diligence requirements on agents to include both sellers and buyers and lettings with landlords and tenants.

“Agents are required to ensure that all staff are trained and aware of their obligations.”

Meanwhile, sales agents continue to be on their guard, as a new report warns that corrupt money is financing the purchases of expensive new apartments in London.

According to the report, Faulty Towers, by London-based anti-corruption Transparency International, up to 80% of properties in luxury developments are being snapped up by overseas investors, with 40% sold to individuals from high corruption risk jurisdictions, or to companies based in secrecy havens.

Its findings are based on an analysis of Land Registry data for 14 landmark developments consisting of 2,066 future homes.

Transparency International warns that off-plan purchases are inherently riskier in terms of money laundering, but the risks rise even more when the properties are expensive.

Its report says that this model of development has led to an over-supply of high-end new properties.

The report continues: “Symptom of this oversupply is the current slowdown in luxury property purchases; this provides strong incentives for sellers to push through deals with less rigorous money laundering checks being applied to the buyers.

“To make matters worse, there are concerns with the quality of due diligence done by estate agents and conveyancers on prospective customers for all kinds of housing, as dramatically illustrated by the RICS expelling one of their members following the documentary From Russia with Cash.”

* Mike Day is running a course aimed at both sales and lettings agents on the latest money laundering directive.

Details are at:


Email the story to a friend


  1. mrharvey

    Can we charge a fee for having to make these checks?

    1. Samantha Peacock

      Hi Mr Harvey, if you want to contact me at I can talk to you about how you can make complying with the Anti Money Laundering regulations easier and cost effective for your agency or if you prefer you can reach me on 01524 220013. Thank you

    2. Woodentop

      Yes now, future they want to stop you … free service, meanwhile don’t forget to pay your extra NI and if you have employees Pension contributions. Income going down and overheads increasing. Anyone would think Blair was back in power.

  2. mrharvey

    Like, perhaps a fee to tenants, because it will take and effort that would otherwise be spent on letting properties?

    1. NewsBoy

      No chance!

  3. AgentAR93

    I like the idea of buyer qualification fees becoming standard. I bought my dream house last year and I’d happily have shelled out £300 for buyer checks.

  4. Oldtimer

    It would be interesting to know if all this effort by estate agents has actually resulted in any convictions, I guess if I had time I could a FOI request..

  5. Maegan31

    Hi all,


    I was hoping someone could help. I am selling a flat and buying a house with the same conveyancer. They are trying to charge me money laundering checks and official searches on both transactions. I hope if someone could tell me is this the right way to do it or can I get away with only paying once?  Thank you!


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.