Specialist letting agents, Leaders, has become the latest firm to join the nationwide SAFEagent campaign, aimed at protecting tenants’ and landlords’ money.

In a demonstration of its professional business practices, Leaders branches and its web-site will now prominently display the easily identifiable SAFEagent mark that enables landlords and tenants to immediately see that their money is protected through Client Money Protection schemes.

Committed to professional standards, Leaders is a member of both ARLA and the Property Ombudsman scheme. Now a SAFEagent member, this acts as an additional way for Leaders’ tenants and landlords to be assured that their money is protected.

Carole Charge, Leaders’ Technical & Compliance Director, said:

“As long-standing members of ARLA, we have always ensured that our clients’ money has been held safely and we are well recognised within the industry for our financial probity. Being members of this national scheme is another way in which we can convey our high standards of practice to landlords and tenants. The extremely eloquent SAFEagent logo will enable us to clearly communicate that any money we hold on behalf of our landlords and tenants is safely protected.

John Midgley, the SAFE Steering Group, said:

“We are delighted that Leaders has signed up to the scheme to become a registered SAFEagent and it is testimony to the fact that professional agents are determined to protect tenants from ‘uninsured’ letting agents who disappear with customer money. We want every person who is looking to rent a property to ‘play it safe’ and be aware that they CAN protect their money. The message is simple – be safe…choose a SAFEagent when you rent. Remember, your money may be at risk if you do not use an agent that is part of a client money protection scheme.”

Over 1,600 letting agents have now signed up to SAFEagent. In addition to Government support, key organizations in the industry including Which, Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, Consumer Focus, National Union of Students, OFT, GLA and Trading Standards Institute have all allied themselves to the scheme. Key suppliers to the sector are also standing behind the campaign – for example, HomeLet and GMG have led the way in pledging their backing to it.

For more information on the SAFEagent campaign, please visit www.safeagents.co.uk and for more information on Leaders visit www.leaders.co.uk/.

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For more information please contact Charlotte Davies at The Splash Partnership:
Charlotte.davies@tsplashp.com / 01225 348015

Notes to Editors

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 Which, Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, Consumer Focus, National Union of Students, OFT, GLA and Trading Standards Institute.

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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