Are you a landlord or tenant using a letting agent for some or all of your letting needs and requirements?
If the answer is yes, then you should know whether or not the money you provide to your agent is secured through a Client Money Protection (CMP) insurance scheme.
Why, what is CMP?
CMP ensures that money you pay to your letting agent – such as deposits, rents, service charges, arbitration fees etc – is safely protected.
In reality, it’s quite straightforward; letting agents that are signed up to CMP insurance schemes maintain and operate a client account where your money is held separately from the company’s operating funds. Crucially it means that, if necessary, you can make a claim in the unlikely event that money paid to your letting agent is mishandled or misappropriated – the most common example of which would be bankruptcy.
The Safeagent campaign
Safeagent is a consumer protection initiative for landlords and tenants who use letting agents. It is dedicated to highlighting the risks to consumers of using agents who are not part of CMP insurance schemes. Safeagent Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of CMP, kicked off on Monday and my|deposits is supporting it.
Raising standards and giving you peace of mind
Keeping your costs to a minimum is important, but with a huge choice of letting agents available for landlords and tenants, the effective management of clients’ money above all provides you with the peace of mind that your money is protected – while delivering a level of confidence and raising standards in the sector.
So look out for the Safeagent logo – it is just one of the signs that indicates whether a particular letting agent protects your money through a CMP insurance scheme. For example, if your agent is a member of an independent trade body, such as UKALA, then they’ll also have CMP insurance as part of their membership.
However, you don’t have to be part of an independent trade body to have CMP insurance, and agents can purchase it separately, for example through CMProtect.
Deposit protection discounts for CMP agents with mydeposits
mydeposits has been behind the Safeagent campaign from an early stage because we believe in raising sector standards. We want to support letting agents who go further to protect their tenant and landlord client’s money, so we offer reduced fees to those with CMP.
New rules for agents
From 27th May 2015, all agents in England are required to make it clear to their customers whether they are part of a CMP scheme or not, both in-office and online, as well which Property Redress Scheme they belong to. You should contact your agent for full details of the schemes they are registered with.
If the letting agent you are using is not able to deliver you the assurance of knowing they are covered by a CMP insurance scheme, the question you need to ask is: why not?