One of the client money protection schemes operating in the lettings sector says he believes agents and property managers could be obliged by law to join an approved protection scheme as early as next month.
Key provisions relating to Client Money Protection, as published by the government back in February, come into force today allowing new regulations to be passed more rapidly by Housing Secretary of State Sajid Javid.
Now Tim Frome of Hamilton Fraser - the company that administers one scheme called Client Money Protect - says he believes increased regulation is imminent and letting agents, relocation agents, and property managers in England may be required to join an approved CMP scheme as early as April.
“After being heavily involved in the two consultations to date, I am delighted that the government appears to be following Scotland and Wales in moving quickly to make membership of a client money protection scheme compulsory for letting agents in England” he says.“With key provisions in place, the groundwork has been laid for CMP regulations to be introduced, the details of which are likely to be unveiled in April when most regulations appear.”
Membership of a Client Money Protection scheme protects the money of landlords and tenants against theft or misappropriation by the owners of a letting agent whilst it is in their custody.
It is already a legal requirement for letting agents in England to display whether they are a member of a client money protection scheme or not.
However, mandatory Client Money Protection for all letting agents has now moved a step closer with Lord Palmer of Childs Hill, who co-chaired the consultation committee alongside Labour’s Baroness Hayter, stating: “I am delighted to say that government is committed to making membership of a CMP scheme mandatory, based on the review which I co-chaired. I expect the regulations to be finalised and released very shortly.”
Hamilton Fraser says it is likely there will be two or more approved CMP schemes for agents who don’t already have cover.