Launched only two weeks ago with unprecedented support from letting agents, the new SAFEagent mark has already generated nearly 500 registrations from agents.
The SAFEagent initiative has been launched ‘BY the industry FOR the industry’ and promotes a simple mark for the consumer to recognise denoting letting firms that protect both landlords’ and tenants’ money through Client Money Protection (CMP) schemes.
Shelter commented on why they are backing the scheme:
“Shelter is supportive of the SAFEagent scheme. Our research has found that one million private renters have been the victim of scams and we welcome any initiative that helps tenants to make safe choices when they are looking for private rented accommodation to avoid unscrupulous letting agents and landlords.
“Shelter would like to see letting agents doing more to ensure tenants are well informed when they look for a private let, assuring tenants that their deposit will be protected, providing written tenancy agreements, and carrying out inventories. Transparent fees schedules can also help tenants to size up the additional costs of renting a home. We believe these steps can help to avoid problems later on that can lead to tenancy breakdown.”
Nick Cooper, Chair of the SAFE Steering Group said: “We are delighted that so many agents have understood what we are trying to achieve and have already signed up to SAFE. It shows that there is clear demand for additional consumer protection and this new mark is already going a long way to satisfy it which is good news for our consumer launch later this year. SAFEagent marks a huge leap forward in the effort to eliminate the potential threat posed to consumers by “uninsured” agents operating in the private rented sector without Government intervention. We look forward to seeing many more agents making the positive move to register.”
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 the firm is part of and annual renewal date
Firms will be asked to meet the Terms and Conditions of the SAFE mark and pay a nominal cost of £50 marketing fee per single office firm (multi-site firms pay an additional £10 per office).
The scheme will launch to consumers later in the summer following the campaign to attract letting agents to adopt the SAFE mark.
For more information visit www.safeagents.co.uk
SAFEagent Steering Group includes representatives from: