It is estimated that letting agents currently hold approximately £2.7 billion in client funds and yet, if a letting agent is not covered by client money protection, both the landlord and tenant could stand to lose their money.
This June, 3,000 professional lettings agents across the UK will unite for SAFEagent Awareness Week – highlighting to consumers the importance of choosing a professional agent who is part of a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.
McCartan Lettings in Killay, Swansea is supporting SAFEagent awareness week, which runs from 6th -10th June 2016 – reminding consumers that their finances are at risk if their chosen agent does not have client money protection in place.
SAFEagent campaigns for full and mandatory CMP – which protects landlords and tenants from the worst practice in letting agency. While mandatory CMP is now firmly on the government’s agenda with amendments to the Housing and Planning Bill, it has still not been passed in law, leaving many consumers still at risk.
The market is huge, with an estimated £2.7 billion held by letting agents in client accounts, but unfortunately there are still too many cases of criminal letting agents stealing landlord and tenant cash.
John Midgley, Chair of the SAFEagent Steering Group, says: “If an agent were to steal landlord or tenant money without CMP in place there’s little chance of getting their money back. Choosing a letting agent without CMP in place is a massive risk for both landlords and tenants. Who can afford to lose thousands of pounds?
“While we are finally getting closer to mandatory CMP we aren’t there yet. It is so important that tenants and landlords understand that the right to redress only goes so far, and they need to choose their agent wisely by asking if they are part of a CMP scheme before entering into a contract with them. It can make all the difference”.
Tenants and landlords / consumers should always look for the SAFEagent logo, an easily identifiable consumer mark denoting agents subscribed to a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.
Hannah McCartan, Managing Director of McCartan lettings says, “We have been a proud member of SAFEagent for 5 years and value the support and credibility this association gives to us at McCartan Lettings.
Client money protection (CMP) remains high on the current, political agenda and we are strong advocates for this within the private, rented sector in Swansea. The Government is advocating to make client money protection mandatory for all lettings agents, and we will continue to support this initiative at all levels.
“Transparency is key. It’s scary when you realise how much money has been paid out by the industry where there has been theft or fraudulent use of clients’ money. We are totally supportive of SAFEagent’s quest to encourage all industry bodies who operate CMP schemes and Tenancy Deposit Schemes to collectively reveal how much they have paid out in claims over the past five years to show how important having CMP in place is.”
Go to www.safeagents.co.uk to find a SAFEagent in your area or call the Team at McCartan Lettings to find out more about Client Money Protection.