A national campaign calling for private landlords and tenants to protect themselves against rogue letting agents will take place in May.
SAFEagent Awareness Week, which was launched in 2011, will be held from 12 – 18 May.
The national campaign, now in its third year, highlights the importance of choosing a letting agent that offers financial protection through a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme.
Although the move by Government to introduce secondary legislation making it mandatory for letting agents to belong to an ombudsman scheme gives landlords and tenants access to approved redress schemes, it does not cover client money protection. SAFEagent is concerned that without such protection the consumers’ finances are still at risk.
More than 2,000 letting agents have now signed up to the SAFEagent campaign to signpost their commitment to protecting landlords’ and tenants’ finances through CMP.
To find a SAFEagent in your area visit www.safeagents.co.uk
SAFEagent – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a reliable mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through Client Money Protection schemes. Set up ‘by the industry, for the industry’ and recognised by the Government, it is supported by Citizens Advice Bureaux, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, National Union of Students, My Deposits, OFT, the Trading Standards Institute.
All agents registered with SAFEagent are part of a Client Money Protection Scheme which reimburses consumers in the event of misappropriation of clients’ funds. There are several schemes in the sector operated by NALS, ARLA, NAEA and RICS to which agents voluntarily belong. The scope of these schemes varies and consumers should contact their agent for full details of the scheme of which they are a part.
The SAFEagent steering group comprises:
Northwood; Belvoir; Bushells; Foxtons; Touchstone; Winkworth; Young London, Spicerhaart, Sequence and Leaders.
How to register for SAFEagentRegistration is very simple. Simply download a form from www.safeagents.co.uk or contact 0845 519 7992 for more information. Details a firm will need to provide include:
· Name of the Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme the firm is signed up to
· The renewal date for the Scheme
· Confirmation of the industry organisation the firm is part of and annual renewal date
Firms will be asked to meet the Terms and Conditions of the SAFE mark. The SAFE mark will be available for use by all agents in CMP schemes. It will be free for agents to register and a nominal charge of £50 for a single office firm for marketing material**. Multi-site firms will pay an additional £10 per office.
** The SAFE marketing pack will include a certificate, window stickers, window cards, template press release, leaflets and other marketing material.