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Missed Opportunity As Mandatory Client Money Protection Reform Withdrawn From Housing Bill

7th January 2016

A recent amendment aimed at introducing mandatory inclusion under a Client Money Protection (CMP)Scheme for all lettings and management agents has been withdrawn from the Housing and Planning Bill currently going through Parliament.

The Minister Brandon Lewis said in reference to the amendment in a recently published briefing report issued during the Christmas break: ” We want to ensure that we have a strong and thriving private rented sector that is not tied up in excessive regulation”.

Isobel Thomson, NALS Chief Executive said: “We welcome the Minister’s commitment to review this matter in May but this is a missed opportunity for offering consumers the financial protection they deserve and raising standards in the sector. It would appear that the Minister is happy to devolve responsibility for raising awareness of the financial protection offered through CMP schemes to the bodies who operate them. As one of those organisations, we have always risen to that challenge and continue to do so but we must set the record straight regarding the cost of belonging to a CMP scheme which can currently be less than £1 per day for a business. It is not a burden for any responsible professional agent. It is only a burden for those agents who do not want to meet the compliance requirements in order to belong to a CMP scheme.

For those agents who are not part of a CMP scheme the consumer should be asking why not and that it is the message we must get across. For that reason NALS has been fully supportive of the SAFEagent campaign  campaign which is recognised by Government.

SAFEagent presents an opportunity for members of all bodies to come together under a single easily identifiable badge promoting financial protection for the consumer. Ahead of the Minister’s review in May 2016, we call for other agent organisations to come together under the SAFEagent badge and ensure that we have strength in numbers when this issue is looked at again”

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