A landmark fine for a Camden property agent has demonstrated the risks associated with failing to be a member of a client money protection (CMP) scheme, with a tribunal upholding a £24,000 fine issued by London Trading Standards.
The firm was fined after it was found that the company no longer belonged to a CMP scheme following the exit of the director, who was the only member of the business that was part of a CMP scheme.
CMP ensures that tenants’ and landlords’ money is protected – offering recompense of rent, unprotected deposits or other client funds in the event that monies have been misappropriated or fraudulently used.
Letting agents have been required by law to belong to a Government-approved CMP scheme since 2019. Failure to comply can carry a maximum penalty of £30,000. Agents must also ensure that they publish their CMP certificate on their website and in their offices, with failure to do so carrying a maximum penalty of £5,000.
As one of six Government-approved CMP schemes, safeagent campaigned for the mandatory introduction of CMP regulations, leading to their introduction. safeagent strongly supports London Trading Standards’ firm position on non-compliance.
Thanks to funding from DLUHC, London Trading Standards has been able to regionally coordinate enforcement of letting agents and CMP regulations, improving levels of compliance across the city and protecting consumers’ money. Enforcement such as this will help raise standards in the PRS and protect tenants and landlords.
safeagent urges all letting agents to ensure that they are complying with CMP regulations. Failure to do so is illegal and puts tenants and landlords at risk.