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SAFEagent demands mandatory Client Money Protection scheme

SAFEagent is calling on the government to use the passage of the Housing Bill through Parliament to make a Client Money Protection scheme a mandatory requirement for all lettings and management agents.

SAFEagent - launched in 2011 and with over 3,000 offices signed up to the consumer awareness campaign - has campaigned to raise consumer awareness among landlords and tenants of the need to ensure they use professional agents who are covered by such a scheme. 

“We welcome the positive action the Government is taking to deal with rogue landlords and agents. Mandatory membership of a redress scheme for all agents was a step in the right direction but consumers get no recompense through those schemes if an agent misappropriates their money” explains SAFEWagent chairman John Midgley.

“Only by introducing a mandatory requirement for agents to be included under a CMP scheme can the consumer be afforded that protection” he insists. 

Midgley is now writing to housing minister Brandon Lewis on the issue.

  • jeremy clarke

    Do you not feel that we need to "take a breath"? So much has happened in the lettings market this year that needs to be addressed, we already have agents local to us that do not display fees, 1 doesn't even display the energy rating on adverts! What government needs to do first is get TSOs out from their comfortable chairs in their warm offices, give them a clipboard and a check list and get them walking the High Streets and visiting agents. They need to start penalising and fining those that do not comply with current legislation, they need to start asking to see records of smoke detectors fitted in properties, asking why fees are not displayed, asking why agents do not belong to redress schemes before we can even contemplate mandatory CMP.
    If the speed limit on motorways was reduced to 60 mph next month would police forces ignore it or enforce it? My guess is that they would enforce it because it raises revenue, on that same logic if TSOs were to visit, penalise ,& prosecute they would increase their revenue. Once they have the revenue they could employ another member of staff and we could then start looking at enforcing new levels/layers of legislation!

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    I liked the above comment on the basis that I as a letting agent keep up-to-date with all the legislative changes to ensure we are compliant, yet many in the same town do not and there is absolutely no enforcement.

    I am now starting to wonder if I need to bother to comply as everyone else seems to have a competitive edge and even though I am explaining to my landlords why they have been charged for the fitting of smoke alarms/EPCs etc, all they see is that other agents wouldn't be levying such charges on them (despite that they will be doing them a disservice by not being legally compliant)!

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