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Looking after your money

Wed 17 May 2017

You may have seen in the press recently that on 28th March 2017 the Government announced its intention to make Client Money Protection (CMP) mandatory for all letting agents in England who handle client money and wonder what this might mean to you.

We believe this new ruling will give all landlords and tenants the protection they deserve and will also increase consumer confidence in the rental sector.

WHAT IS CMP?

CMP is a compensation scheme which recompenses landlords and tenants should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds. It is currently a compulsory requirement for all RICS, NAEA and ARLA members to have CMP, but until now it hasn’t been mandatory for letting agents who are not members of these professional bodies.

WHY IS IT BEING MADE MANDATORY?

It is estimated that some £23 billion is paid annually in rent, of which £6 - £10 billion is collected by agents like us on behalf of landlords like you. Figures suggest as much as £2.7 billion is held at any one time by letting agents and £700 million of that is thought to be unprotected. No wonder then that the industry has been complaining about the lack of protection available for landlords and their tenants when disreputable agents go out of business and disappear with their money.

Being undermined by a small minority of bad agents who steal from their clients and tenants should hopefully become a thing of the past as they will be liable for fines of up to £5,000 and potentially face the closure of their business.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Safeguards are in place to make sure that any rent paid to us is held in a separate bank account, so that both tenants and landlords are protected if a letting agent should stop trading or go out of business. To be fully compliant with the scheme we do all of the following, in order to better protect your income.

Open a segregated Client Money Bank Account

Become a member of an external consumer redress scheme - TPO

Take out Professional Indemnity Insurance

Agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions of CMP including following Guidance onthe Holding of Client Monies

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CMP?

Whilst most agents already belong to a redress scheme, this may not help the tenant or landlord if they are awarded redress but the agent goes insolvent and is unable to pay compensation. CMP reduces risk by ensuring that the money is handled honestly and appropriately and gives both landlord and tenant the right to claim misappropriated money back through the scheme. 

NO COST TO YOU

As your trusted letting agent, we absorb all costs of membership of the scheme and delight in doing so. In order to gain cover, we have had to meet certain eligibility criteria and as a result we are entitled to display our CMP certificate in our office, providing evidence that your money is safe in our hands.

 

"I would like to thank you and your team for your help during the selling process. At the outset you were able to explain the procedure and point me in the right direction with regard to Solicitors and sorting out the EPC. I felt that the quality of the sales particulars were first class and I have no doubt that they played a big part in securing a sale. Your calm and professional attitude meant that I had no concerns even on moving day when things could have gone wrong with a technical issue at my purchasers Solicitors. The price for all of this was very competitive with no compromise in service. Certainly I would use Lovett Sales and Lettings again and I would recommend to friends and family in the future"
Justin – Great Paxton

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