Client Money Protection:
Client Money Protection (CMP) is an insurance product for letting agents.
CMP protects the rental money that a tenant pays their letting agent to pass on to a landlord. Many landlords and tenants are unaware of CMP and how it can safeguard rental money should an agent go into administration or attempt to use client funds fraudulently.
CMP is becoming available through several providers and policies will be in place well before the deadline of 1st April 2019. Agents that belong to an industry trade body may already be covered under their membership schemes. The following trade bodies offer comprehensive CMP cover to their members: RICS, ARLA, UKALA and NALS.
From 1st April 2019 all agents managing lettings in England must belong to an approved CMP scheme and must:
- Display a certificate confirming membership of an approved CMP scheme in each branch and on the firm’s website.
- Give a copy of the agency certificate to anyone who reasonably requires it, free of charge
- Notify all clients within 14 days if their CMP membership is revoked, or they change to a different approved CMP scheme
- Provide clients with the name and address of the scheme to which they become a member
The agent must ensure the level of CMP membership provides sufficient cover to compensate clients for the maximum amount of client money being held.
Local authorities will have the power to impose fines of up to £30,000 for failure to belong to a scheme and up to £5,000 for failure to display the correct scheme membership details on the business premises and on websites.
There are currently 4 schemes to choose from and more are expected:
To avoid heavy fines, agents must have CMP in place by April 1st 2019, so time is running out.
Here is the enacting legislation:
The Client Money Protection Schemes for Property Agents (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc.) Regulations 2018