SAFEagent calls for all lettings and management firms to have mandatory financial protection
SAFEagent is calling upon the Government to take the opportunity, with the passage of the Consumer Rights Bill, to make inclusion under a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme a mandatory requirement for all lettings and management agents. CMP schemes offer recompense to tenants and landlords should a firm misappropriate or fraudulently use clients’ money.
The SAFEagent campaign, established in 2011 and now with over 3,000 offices registered was set up by agents for agents to raise consumer awareness of the importance of checking that an agent is part of a recognised CMP scheme. Not only are all agents bearing the SAFEagent logo part of CMP Schemes, they are also part of recognised industry agent organisations who monitor their compliance, offering additional consumer protection.
John Midgley, SAFEagent Chair, said: “With Government continuing to deliver positive measures to improve renting and letting such as mandatory membership of redress schemes, which all SAFEagents are covered by, as well as the recent “How to Rent Guide” for tenants, we are urging them not to miss this opportunity to make it mandatory for agents to provide financial protection for their clients and customers.
“It does not make sense that agents who handle clients’ money on a daily basis do not even have to operate a designated client account or can disappear with the contents of that account with no recompense for the consumer, unless they are part of a CMP Scheme. We understand and support Government’s action on transparency of letting agents’ fees but it seems incongruous that there should be the narrow focus on this financial aspect of entering into a tenancy but no regard for whether agents have financial protection if something goes wrong.
SAFEagent has written to the Housing Minister and will be urging all SAFEagents to write to their local MPs to ensure this issue moves up the political agenda in the run up to the Election.
For more information please contact Felicity Crump at The Splash Partnership, firstname.lastname@example.org / 01225 348015