All private rented property agents in England will be required to belong to an approved Client Money Protection scheme from the 1st April.
Client money protection regulations require any agent engaging in property work to pay to belong to one of the recognized and approved client money protection schemes.
The new regulations will protect renters’ and landlords’ money from theft or misuse while being held by property agents. All agents will be required to join up to a government-approved scheme by 1 April or face fines of up to £30,000.
Currently, membership of a client money protection scheme is voluntary with approximately 60% of agents signed up.
To help letting agents prepare for this, the RLA has produced a new online guide outlining what agents need to know.
The online guidance covers what client money is, which client money schemes agents can join, enforcement and penalties for non-compliance.
Speaking about the new regulations, Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP said: “It is not acceptable that some tenants and landlords are being put at risk of losing out financially, simply because their agent had not signed up to a scheme to protect their money.
“Whilst the vast majority of agents act responsibly, this new law will prevent people from losing their hard-earned cash through no fault of their own. This will give tenants and landlords confidence and peace of mind that their money is in safe hands whilst with their agent.”