This week, Government announced that it intends to make Client Money Protection (CMP) mandatory for all letting agents. SAFEagent has campaigned for the last six years for this decision, which will protect consumers by ensuring all agents holding rent money and deposits must protect it in a CMP Scheme.
Belvoir Dunstable a professional letting agent with CMP already in place, is delighted at the decision, but is reminding consumers that mandatory CMP is not yet law, and their finances are at risk if their chosen agent does not have client money protection.
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. This is why it is crucial that consumers check their agent is part of an agent regulatory organisation which already provides CMP.
This is wonderful news that the Government will finally make CMP mandatory, but it isn’t in place yet. That means both landlords and tenants are still at risk of losing money. It is so important that consumers understand that they need to choose their agent wisely by asking if they are part of a CMP scheme before entering into a contract with them.
This is another change in lettings that all landlords should take on board before choosing their letting agent. Those currently with an agent should consider how this will impact on their agent along with the banning of fees that agents can charge tenants which can account for up to 25% of their lettings income. It is quite likely that some Estate Agents will stop lettings altogether and some letting agents could decide to close.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice