SAFEagent recognised in Governments Housing Strategy for England

The government has displayed its continued support for SAFEagent by referring to the mark in its new Housing Strategy for England.

In the chapter ‘A thriving private rented sector’*, SAFEagent was cited as a key way of promoting consumer awareness of client money protection and identifying agents with that protection. The mark also ‘shows how much can be achieved quickly and cheaply through simple effective ideas driven by industry not the Government’.

The Government has supported SAFEagent since its launch in early September and has advocated its ‘by the industry, for the industry’ approach. Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP has encouraged lettings and management agents to sign up to the kitemark.

John Midgley, Chair of the SAFEagent Steering Group says: “This is a fantastic endorsement of SAFEagent and we welcome Grant Shapps’ early and continued support. We’re delighted that the Government recognises that the industry can generate and implement proactive, innovative ideas which are in the interest of the consumer rather than relying on imposed regulations which would lead to further red tape and cost.

“SAFEagent is a simple and sensible approach to raising consumer awareness of Client Money Protection and it’s one that is working. To date, there have been over 1,600 sign ups to SAFEagent. We would invite any letting agents who haven’t signed up yet to do so and really make a difference to the sector.”

In addition to Government support, key organizations in the industry Shelter, NUS, Trading Standards Institute, Council of Mortgage Lenders, Residential Landlords Association, The Property Ombudsman Scheme and the British Property Federation have all allied themselves to SAFEagent. Key suppliers to the sector are also supportive of SAFEagent, HomeLet and GMG have led the way in pledging their backing to the campaign.

-Ends-
SAFEagent Press Information:
Please Charlotte Davies at The Splash Partnership: 01225 348015 / charlotte.davies@tsplashp.com

Notes to Editors

To read ‘Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England’ in full, please visit: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/housingstrategy2011

About SAFEagent
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.

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.

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