Two more organisations have been given official approval to operate Client Money Protection schemes for estate agents to protect the £2.7 billion in funds held on behalf of clients.
These are The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), which has already been offering its CMP service to agents for 15 years, and Money Shield, which is jointly owned by Propertymark and The Dispute Service in association with The Property Ombudsman and was set up last year.
“We’re delighted our scheme has secured formal Government approval, and we encourage any agents who have not yet secured CMP to join Money Shield before the deadline in just under five weeks’ time,” a spokesperson said.
ARLA has been instrumental in supporting the legislation that has made CMP compulsory as it passed through parliament.
Its Chief Executive David Cox (left) recently said that it’s “a vital step forward in improving consumer protection in the rental sector; probably more so than the myriad of other laws passed over the past two decades”.
Last week insurance company Hamilton Fraser was the first out of the blocks to have its CMP scheme approved by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
All estate agents must be a member of an approved CMP scheme by April 1st 2019 or face paying a fine of up to £30,000.
“While it’s great news that CMP will become a legal requirement from 1 April, it is only one of the elements that make up a professional lettings and management firm,” says Isobel Thomson (right), Chief Executive of NALS.
“We don’t believe that being part of a CMP scheme should just be a case of buying an off the shelf product to comply with the Regulations.”