Compulsory client money protection kitemark organisation SAFEagent says the lettings industry should be making public just how much is paid out when there has been theft or fraudulent use of clients’ money.
“To really get to the nub of the problem, SAFEagent is calling on all industry bodies who operate CMP schemes and the Tenancy Deposit Schemes to collectively reveal how much they have paid out in claims over the past five years” says SAFEagent chair John Midgley.
“Too often the cases don’t receive significant press coverage because claimants are reimbursed. However, if we are ever going to convince government to act, these are meaningful statistics that we need, and which have been missing up until now” he says.
In recent years, the government has resisted making this mandatory on the grounds that it over-burdens agents with an additional cost “but without this, consumers’ money is at risk” says SAFEagent.
“What about the firms who have already voluntarily taken on paying to be part of a CMP scheme and demonstrated their commitment to the consumer?” asks Midgley.
“Let’s get this out in the open. It’s time for all sector organisations to work together under one banner to show government how much is being lost and just why mandatory CMP is so important.”
SAFEagent is a kitemark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through Client Money Protection schemes; the firm’s steering group consists of representatives from letting agencies including Northwood, Belvoir, Foxtons, Touchstone, Winkworth, Hunters, Spicerhaart, Sequence, Connells, Countrywide, Leaders and Savills.