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The real estate industry in the UK is being constantly reminded that the deadline for registering with the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is near. The issued guidelines will ensure that the letting agents stay anti-money laundering compliant.
Any residential or commercial letting agent who lets out properties of EUR 10,000 per month or more than this amount (amount equivalent in other currencies is also included) will be impacted by June 10. According to today’s exchange rates, £8,600 per month.
As per these warnings, every real estate agent within the state must have clearly defined procedures and documents that should be in place before the deadline. The businesses must act now if they want to be ready in time.
In another news, the Deputy Director at HMRC’s fraud investigation, Nick Sharp, said, “Money laundering is not a victimless crime. Criminals use laundered cash to fund serious organized crime, from drug importation to child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and even terrorism. We’re here to help businesses protect themselves from those who would prey on their services. That includes taking action against the minority who fail to meet their legal obligations under the regulations as this record fine clearly shows.”
The letting agents fell in line with selling agents when the fifth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5) came into effect in January 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the deadline for registration further 18 months but the agents must now be fully compliant.
By June 10, all letting agents are obligated to structure comprehensive anti-money laundering (AML) policies and process documents in place. These documents must outline all the details of the AML processes a business adheres to. This information includes customer due diligence and responsibilities of staff members along with the legislation they operate under.
All residential and commercial real estate agents as mentioned in the HMRC list provided a few weeks ago have to comply with the AML regulations. Otherwise, hefty penalties will be imposed on them.