Propertymark’s Money Shield service and the National Approved Letting Scheme have each received government approval to operate Client Money Protection schemes.
From April 1 it will be mandatory for all letting agents and property managers in England to be a member of an approved client money protection scheme or face fines and sanctions for non-compliance.
NALS has been providing a CMP scheme for its agents for over 15 years and it has been a key part of NALS accreditation to have CMP as a consumer protection measure.
The government stamp of approval means NALS can continue to offer agents inclusion under its CMP scheme.
A statement from the organisation says NALS spearheaded the campaign to make belonging to a CMP scheme a mandatory requirement through its support for the SAFEagent campaign.
Now Isobel Thomson, chief executive of NALS, says: “While it’s great news that CMP will become a legal requirement from April 1, it is only one of the elements that make up a professional lettings and management firm. We don’t believe that being part of a CMP scheme should just be a case of buying an off the shelf product to comply with the Regulations.
"Any agent coming under our CMP scheme will have to be part of NALS so we can ensure consumers are obtaining the best possible service in all areas and high standards are maintained.”
Another organisation winning backing as a CMP provider is Money Shield, owned jointly by Propertymark and The Dispute Service, and launched in association with The Property Ombudsman in August last year.
A joint statement from the organisations says: “In the past, landlords and tenants alike have fallen victim to rogue agents misappropriating their money. However, from April 1 all agents must be enrolled in a CMP scheme and consumers can rest assured that their money will be protected.
“We’re delighted our scheme has secured formal government approval, and we encourage any agents who have not yet secured CMP to join Money Shield before the deadline in just under five weeks’ time.”
Client Money Protect, part of the Hamilton Fraser group, has already won formal government approval to operate a client money protection scheme; so has the UK Association of Lettings Agents, which is marketing what it calls its “industry first total loss client money protection scheme” to its members.