John Midgley, managing director of Touchstone and a lead member of SAFEagent Steering Group says:
“We welcome ARLA’s “complete agreement” that landlords and tenants should only use letting agents who are covered by Client Money Protection insurance to avoid the risk of losing money if an agent defaults.
“The lines of communication are open between the SAFEagent Steering Group and ARLA to discuss how we can work to the common goal of raising consumer awareness and raising standards in the industry. As part of this dialogue the SAFEagent Steering Group is offering special terms to ARLA for including their members in SAFEagent.
“The crucial minimum protection of CMP required to be a SAFEagent must be in place for the consumer to be secure alongside any benefits of professional regulation.
“Created “by agents FOR agents in the industry”, SAFEagent is a mark by which landlords and tenants can instantly spot an agent who is covered by a client money protection scheme that guarantees that their money is safe.
“The fact that SAFEagent has seen more than 1,500 sign-ups within its first three months of operation shows conclusively its benefits are widely recognized. As well as Government backing, a number of key consumer bodies including Shelter, NUS, Trading Standards Institute, Council of Mortgage Lenders, The Property Ombudsman Scheme and the British Property Federation support the SAFEagent campaign. Key suppliers to the sector are also supportive of SAFEagent and HomeLet and GMG have led the way in pledging its backing to the campaign.
“Ultimately, SAFEagent stands for consumer protection with ongoing support from Government, consumer-focused bodies and professional letting agents. As such, it will become the mark that consumers look for.”
Notes to Editors
SAFEagent – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a reliable mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through Client Money Protection schemes. Set up ‘by the industry, for the industry’ and recognised by the Government, it is supported by Shelter, NUS, Trading Standards Institute, Council of Mortgage Lenders, Residential Landlords Association, The Property Ombudsman Scheme and the British Property Federation. It is also supported by key suppliers Homelet and GMG.
All agents registered with SAFEagent are part of a Client Money Protection Scheme which reimburses consumers in the event of misappropriation of clients’ funds. There are several schemes in the sector operated by NALS, ARLA, NAEA and RICS to which agents voluntarily belong. The scope of these schemes varies and consumers should contact their agent for full details of the scheme of which they are a part.
The SAFEagent steering group comprises:
Northwood; Belvoir; Bushells; Foxtons; Touchstone; Winkworth; Young London.
How to register for SAFEagent
Registration is very simple. Simply 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. 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.
** The SAFE marketing pack will include a certificate, window stickers, window cards, template press release, leaflets and other marketing material.
SAFEagent Press Information:
Please Caroline Hole-Jones at The Splash Partnership: 01225 318000 / 07768 806160