SAFEagent Consumer Stakeholder Meeting 12 December

Lord Best will be heading the latest initiative from SAFEagent, when representatives from all the main UK consumer groups come together on the 12th December to discuss how the fast-growing SAFEagent consumer mark can be promoted to the public, building on the significant awareness and value already achieved since the campaign was launched to consumers in September this year.

Set to encourage national promotion is an impressive array of bodies, who are already committed to the SAFEagent campaign and determined to drive instant, recognizable consumer protection around the use of lettings agents. The groups include Which, Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, Consumer Focus, National Union of Students, OFT, GLA and Trading Standards Institute.

John Midgley, Chair of the SAFEagent Steering Group says that this meeting promises to be a tremendously exciting platform for SAFEagent, which is welcoming the collaboration and co-operation of these respected consumer groups:

“It is a key element of the promotion of SAFEagent to work closely with consumer stakeholder groups to accelerate public awareness of SAFEagent across the UK and join forces to work towards a common aim.

“It is through amplification of the message across all possible routes that we can successfully ensure our message is heard and understood. The old adage of ‘together, many raindrops make an ocean’ is one that comes to mind, and it’s tremendously gratifying that we are all united when it comes to ensuring the highest levels of public awareness”.

The announcement of this consumer stakeholder meeting comes hard on the heels of the announcement by Government, last week that has referred to the SAFEagent mark in its new Housing Strategy for England. It cited SAFEagent as a key way of promoting consumer awareness of client money protection. Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP has encouraged lettings and management agents to sign up to the kitemark.

-Ends-

SAFEagent Press Information:
Please Charlotte Davies / Caroline Hole-Jones at The Splash Partnership:
01225 348015 / charlotte.davies@tsplashp.com
caroline.Hole-Jones@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 and Help Protect the Consumer
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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