Simply put, it’s because we’re required to by law and any agent that doesn’t ask for this information is in breach of regulations.
This firm is required to comply fully with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (‘‘Regulations’’) and as such we are required by law to get satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and/or any third parties involved in your matter. This information must be provided at the outset which means for vendors and landlords at the time the instructions are received to market your property and for purchasers and tenants at the time that your offer to buy or rent is accepted by the seller or landlord. If this information is not provided as agreed, your transaction may be delayed.
For an individual person, we require to see two current forms of identification, such as a current passport or photographic driving licence, bank statement or utility bill (which is no more than 3 months old).
The requirements for corporate entities such as companies, partnerships or trusts are more complex and you will be required to provide documentation e.g. certificate of incorporation, articles of association etc.
We will need to see all parties involved with the transaction in person with their original documentation which will be required for verification purposes. Or they may be independently verified by a professional person such as a solicitor, accountant or the Post Office. In all cases and in line with the ‘Regulations’, the firm will retain copies of your ID in either paper or electronic form up to a period of 5 years after the date we have ceased the business relationship. In addition, we also reserve the right to use the services of third parties including on-line credit check companies to carry out identity verification of any client.
The firm may from time to time request further documentation beyond what was originally requested should we deem it appropriate in order to meet our obligations as regards to the “Regulations”.
In addition to verification of the client the firm will have to verify the proof and source of any funds that are being used for the property purchase. Funds received on your behalf from a third party require the same levels of identification and verification checks as the customer themselves.
For specific information on the documentation required, please speak to your local branch of Hannells.