BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
What does this new logo mean for landlords and tenants?
This new Kitemark offers a one stop shop, a sort of ABTA for Letting agents, where tenants and landlords can be absolutely sure that the agent is covered by a client money protection scheme.
To become a SAFEagent, the agent must have proved that they maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where your money is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm.
If the agent you are using cannot provide you with the assurance of knowing they are covered by a client money protection scheme the question you need to ask is "why not"?
So why has it come in now?
Because so many letting agents are operating in an unsafe way. The whole idea is help clean up the industry and support the consumer.
SAFE – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through client money protection schemes
Philip Laney & Jolly, along with as many other professional letting agents, will be supporting it wholeheartedly
What other measures have you got in place?
All agents regulated by ARLA/NFOPP, the Law Society, NALS and RICS maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where your money is held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm.
Philip Laney & Jolly are also regulated by ARMA, the Association of Residential Managing Agents.
An annual check of our client funds is carried out by BDWM, the well respected local firm of Chartered Accountants
BDWM are then required to report direct to the regulatory body on our compliance.
How can I check up on my letting agent?
It is important to ensure you ask your agent for details of the organisation they are regulated by, and whether or not they are covered by a client money protection scheme.
Visit www.safeagents.co.uk and see if your agent is registered.
As registration is FREE for agents in established client money protection schemes, with a nominal £50 charge for marketing material, the question you need to ask is “why are you not registered?”
Just look at the support for the new scheme!
Ron Gainsford, Chief Executive of the Trading Standards Institute: “The Trading Standards Institute welcomes the introduction and promotion of a single mark to identify letting agents who are in Client Money Protection insurance schemes. Raising the money for a deposit and rent places a great financial strain on many people who wish to rent property and it will be invaluable to have one mark that can be promoted as the sign on the door that their money will be safe with that letting agent. Having just one mark will increase recall levels of the scheme and enable consumers to make sensible and safe choices of letting agents based on a raised awareness of the Client Protection Insurance scheme. In turn this will help trading standards services in the fight to reduce the number of rogue and ‘uninsured’ letting agents who disappear with consumer money.”
The Council of Mortgage Lenders:
“The CML is pleased to support efforts to raise awareness of schemes designed to protect landlord client monies held by letting agents. We therefore welcome the campaign, co-ordinated by NALS, to offer a single mark to identify agents in Client Money Protection insurance schemes to raise awareness of the risks of using an “uninsured” agent.”
The Residential Landlords Association: Alan Ward, chairman
“A clear and recognisable brand will help build confidence with landlords as well as tenants who place large sums of money on trust with professional letting and management agents. It will place the onus on agents operating without CMP to answer the question “why not?”
British Property Federation
“This campaign brings home to landlords that their money is a lot safer with some agents than others. We want professional agents to prosper at the expense of rogues and therefore have no hesitation in supporting the campaign. We would encourage agents to join in their throngs and landlords to remember the old adage ‘you are better SAFE than sorry’.”
Nick Cooper, Chair of the SAFE Steering Group said: “We believe this is a very positive move for the sector and having the backing of industry bodies will help enormously to galvanise the sector into demonstrating its commitment to best practice and protect consumers and landlords from those unscrupulous agents. We also anticipate that ultimately we will get Government recognition for this new mark.”
Philip Laney & Jolly is one of Worcestershire’s leading Estate Agents. Founded in 1966, we are one of the most successful Letting Agents in the area. We are members of recognised industry bodies including ARMA and NAEA. We are proud to have become members of the SAFEagent initiative.
SAFE – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through client money protection schemes.