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Client Money Protection: what agents need to know ahead of April 1st deadline

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

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.”

Read the RLA’s online Client Money Protection guide here. You can also read a recent call of the week from an agent member about client money protection here.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

3 Comments

  • Hi,

    Victoria writes above that the client money protection regulations require that anyone engaging in property work need to pay to join one of the schemes. I do not handle any client money – my clients pay me commission – so it is my understanding that I do not need to belong to a scheme. Am I correct ?

    • Hi, all private rented property agents in England will be required to belong to an approved Client Money Protection scheme from the 1st April. As long as you hold no money on behalf of a client, then you do not to need to sign up to a scheme.

  • Hi Victoria,

    Many thanks for that. So if agents want to avoid the hassle and paperwork of opening a client account, getting client money protection insurance, getting personal indemnity insurance, which will be quite onerous financially and otherwise, if not impossible for small agencies, then why not have all payments from tenants made directly to landlords, and have the landlords pay your commission directly to you. Maybe not an ideal situation but I have been doing that for some years now with some landlords – and it works ! So simple !

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