LETTING agents have been warned to comply with tough new data-protection laws.

The reminder comes from tenant referencing provider FCC Paragon, which is also warning agents to ensure Anti Money Laundering (AML) checks are carried out correctly.

“The average agency will now be making more AML checks than ever before and it’s vital that they are carrying out the correct procedures and are fully aware of the law,” said Bryn Cole, managing director of FCC Paragon.

“Agents have been sanctioned over AML failings in the past and the new directive requires them to do more work and so it’s vital that all firms get up to speed, if they haven’t done so already.”

FCC Paragon explains that firms who don’t consider their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations when making anti-money laundering checks could find themselves in trouble.

GDPR will replace the current Data Protection Act 1998, when it comes into force in May.

Under the new rules, all communications will be required to only include information that the recipient has consented to receive.

“When agents carry out AML checks, they are dealing with extremely personal, sensitive data and it’s clear that GDPR regulations leave little margin for error on the part of the agent,” Mr Cole explained.

“There’s now less than 200 days until GDPR is formally introduced and that’s why agents need to be planning and strategising continuously between now and May to make sure their processes are efficient, while remaining compliant.”