SAFE announces industry wide support for its new consumer focussed campaign, which promotes a simple mark denoting letting firms that protect landlords’ and tenants’ money through client money protection schemes, newly launched ‘by the industry* for the industry’.
Ron Gainsford, Chief Executive of the Trading Standards Institute: “The Trading Standards Institute welcomes the introduction and promotion of a single mark to identify letting agents who are in Client Money Protection insurance schemes. Raising the money for a deposit and rent places a great financial strain on many people who wish to rent property and it will be invaluable to have one mark that can be promoted as the sign on the door that their money will be safe with that letting agent. Having just one mark will increase recall levels of the scheme and enable consumers to make sensible and safe choices of letting agents based on a raised awareness of the Client Protection Insurance scheme. In turn this will help trading standards services in the fight to reduce the number of rogue and ‘uninsured’ letting agents who disappear with consumer money.”
Nick Cooper, Chair of the SAFE Steering Group said: “We are delighted to have already got such positive support for the SAFE concept, which will really help to get this off the ground. We believe this is a very positive move for the sector and having the backing of industry bodies will help enormously to galvanise the sector into demonstrating its commitment to best practice and protect consumers and landlords from those unscrupulous agents. We also anticipate that ultimately we will get Government recognition for this new mark.”
How do you register for the SAFE mark?
The registration is very simple. You can download a form from www.safeagents.co.uk or contact 0845 519 7992 for more information. Details a firm will need to provide include:
• Name of the Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme the firm is signed up to
• The renewal date for the Scheme
• Confirmation of the industry organisation you are part of and annual renewal date
Firms will be asked to meet the Terms and Conditions of the SAFE mark. The SAFE mark will be available for use by all agents in CMP Schemes. It will be free for agents to register and a nominal charge of £50 for a single office firm for marketing material**. Multi-site firms will pay an additional £10 per office.
SAFE will open for registrations on 27 May 2011.
The scheme will launch to consumers later in the year following the campaign to attract letting agents to adopt the SAFE mark.
Support for SAFE has already been extremely encouraging with positive comments from the industry and wider:
The Council of Mortgage Lenders:
“The CML is pleased to support efforts to raise awareness of schemes designed to protect landlord client monies held by letting agents. We therefore welcome the campaign, co-ordinated by NALS, to offer a single mark to identify agents in Client Money Protection insurance schemes to raise awareness of the risks of using an “uninsured” agent.”
The Residential Landlords Association: Alan Ward, chairman
“A clear and recognisable brand will help build confidence with landlords as well as tenants who place large sums of money on trust with professional letting and management agents. It will place the onus on agents operating without CMP to answer the question “why not?”
British Property Federation
“This campaign brings home to landlords that their money is a lot safer with some agents than others. We want professional agents to prosper at the expense of rogues and therefore have no hesitation in supporting the campaign. We would encourage agents to join in their throngs and landlords to remember the old adage ‘you are better SAFE than sorry’.”